What is Joint Reconstruction Surgery?
Joint reconstruction surgery includes various surgical procedures to reconstruct and repair the joints damaged due to arthritis or trauma.
Anatomy of the Joint
A joint is an area where two or more bones meet. Most joints permit a gliding movement of the bones against each other to enable different kinds of movement. A small layer of smooth cartilaginous tissue is present over these joint surfaces to protect the bone ends preventing wear and tear. The joints are surrounded by ligaments that hold the bones together and help in the controlled movement of the joint while preventing dislocation. Tendons attach muscles to the bone enabling movement of the joints and providing support. There are different types of joints such as hinge joints that allow extension and flexion movements and ball-and-socket joints that allow mobility in various directions.
Types of Joint Reconstruction Surgery
There are different types of joint reconstruction surgery and the choice of procedure may vary based on the severity of the damage and the location of the joint. The most common procedures include:
- Joint Replacement Surgery: In this procedure, all the articulating surfaces of a joint and underlying bone are removed and replaced with prosthetic implants. Joint replacement is usually performed for severe joint damage which does not respond to conservative methods.
- Resurfacing surgery: In this procedure, only the damaged articulating surfaces are smoothened and replaced. Most of the bone is retained and the movement of the joint is more natural.
- Osteotomy: In this procedure, your doctor will cut and reposition the bone associated with a joint in order to redistribute weight more uniformly. Osteotomy is indicated for conditions such as bow legs or knockknees where there is too much weight and pressure on one side of the joint leading to arthritis.
- Arthrodesis: In this procedure, your doctor will join the bones in a joint with screws, pins, or rods to provide stability and control pain by limiting movement. The bones later fuse into a single continuous bone.
- Arthroscopy:This is a minimally invasive procedure in which your doctor will insert a long thin flexible tube (arthroscope) with a camera at one end and other instruments through tiny incisions over the joint. This will help your doctor view the inside of your joint and treat damaged ligaments, tendons or cartilage.
- Synovectomy: Your doctor will remove the outer lining of the joint called the synovium in case of inflammation in order to prevent it from damaging the bones and cartilage.
- Small Joint Surgery: In this procedure, small damaged joints in the hands and feet are replaced with prosthetics to restore function.