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Arthritis and Joint Replacement

man in motion

Arthritis is one of the most common conditions in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control one out of every three Americans, approximately 70 million people, are affected by arthritis. For most people arthritis pain cannot be avoided as the body ages. In fact, most people over the age of 50 show some signs of arthritis.

All of our joints are covered with a smooth, white surface called articular cartilage. As we age, the smooth cartilage wears and starts to develop small cracks. Over time these small cracks get larger and the smooth surface becomes rough. The roughened surface causes mechanical symptoms such as clicking, grinding and sometimes instability. The rough surface also causes inflammation which subsequently results in joint stiffness and pain.

Fortunately, in most cases, arthritis can be managed through a combination of medication, exercise, rest, weight-management, nutrition and injections. Patients who have tried conservative measures to address their arthritic pain and have not had satisfactory results may be candidates for surgery.

The decision to proceed with joint replacement surgery is based on a number of factors. These factors are level of pain, x-ray findings, decreased mobility, current health status and most importantly your desire to proceed.

A primary joint replacement is a procedure where the worn cartilage is removed and replaced with metal and polyethylene implants. The new implants allow you to have painless and improved range of motion of your joint. You could be up and walking as early as the day of surgery with the physical therapists. Because of advances in both surgical technique and newer anesthesia methods, the whole experience can be relatively painless. If all goes well and your physical condition is good, it is possible to go home is just two or three days after surgery.


HealthAlliance Hospital
105 Mary's Avenue
Kingston, NY 12401
Phone: 845.338.2500

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