Joints wearing out with age are a common problem, which is on the rise with unhealthy eating habits, and lethargic life routines. With growing age and calcium depletion, bones start to become more and more brittle. It is all the more common with females as a lot of calcium from their body tends to be used up in bearing children and nursing them.
With high success rate and affordability of joint replacement surgery (at least in some countries), you can surely walk your way to old age.
There is not a single joint in our body that we can avoid using, which makes each and every joint equally important. There are a few joints which face a little more wear and tear than the rest, and hence need replacement.
The most popular surgeries include:
Knee Replacement: Knees carry our body weight to a great extent, and hence chances for their exhaustion are quite high. The problems might start as early as mid-30’s and knee replacement is the most commonly performed replacement surgery across the world.
Knee replacement surgery involves making an incision along the center of the knee and removing the damaged parts of the thigh and calf bones i.e. the femur and tibia using a bone saw. The new components are then fixed with the help of bone cement. Flexible polyethylene cushion is added between the new joint and old tibia surface to offer some shock absorption and reduce friction.
Hip Replacement: The hip joint also has to bear a lot of friction, and even more if you are overweight. The majority of patients who suffer need hip replacement are suffering from osteoarthritis. The hip joint wears with age, with depleting calcium.
Hip replacement surgery involves replacing the ball and socket joint that form the hip joint. The prosthetic ball is added after removal of the femoral head. This ball is connected to a stem which is inserted into the marrow of the femur to fix it and form a new joint. The rest of the joint is resurfaced and lined with a prosthetic cup forming the socket. This procedure is very popular and very successful, however since running; jumping and other strenuous activity will be prohibited to an extent.
Shoulder Replacement: The problem here is not weight, but is generally required due to degeneration of bones and joint and general stiffness leading to a lot of pain and restriction in motion.
Shoulder replacement surgery is an extremely successful procedure that restores the motion and relieves the pain. The procedure involves removal of the damaged humeral neck, resurfacing and adding a prosthetic humeral stem that fits inside the humerus. The top of this stem is designed so as to hold a ball to replace the natural joint.
Planning a joint surgery overseas?
Though it will be painful on the physical front, and even overwhelming thinking about adding a foreign body part inside you, to help you move better, these surgeries are quite common, effective and successful. It is very costly in the USA, and there might not be such good medical facilities in Nigeria and other African countries.