Due to arthritis, osteoporosis, injury and other skeletal problems many American’s lose mobility and are unable to perform everyday tasks. Today’s technology allows people to have their joints replaced and mobility restored. Every year around 190,000 American’s choose to have joint replacement surgery to get back to normal. The most common joints replaced are the knee and hip but the shoulder can also be replaced.
Artificial joint’s today are mostly made up of steel. Early on doctors struggled to find a system that would properly replace the joints. Finding a material that would work correctly and not cause the immune system to react. The hip has to bear a force that is equal to six times the body’s weight so it is important for the replacement to be strong. Luckily today’s joint replacements are safe and built to last. Replacement hips are formed by a steel ball and stem that replace the top of the thigh bone. Most joint replacements are able to last for around ten years, although with new technology that number is always growing. The newest development in joint replacements promote the growth of new bone in the area around the replacement. This provides more strength and stability in the joint.
The popularity of joint replacement grew back in the 1990’s when professional athlete Bo Jackson had replacement surgery. After suffering from a hip injury Bo had his hip replaced and after recovering he returned to playing baseball for the White Sox’s. His surgery and recovery were played out in the news and showed not only the success of joint replacements but also the importance that physical therapy plays in recovery. Bo showed everyone how with dedication and physical therapy after surgery you can be like brand new. After having a joint replaced physical therapy is crucial to regaining function in the joint. The surgery alone will not improve function, patients have to learn how to move with the new joint.
There is no need to live with pain and reduced mobility. Joint replacements offer a great way to get back on your feet and eliminate pain. With today’s improving technology joint replacement and some physical therapy can improve patients daily lives.