Body joints are a very important part of the human body. If the joints get affected by any disease or swell up, or even degenerate, the affected patient suffers a lot. Arthritis patients also suffer due to joint problems. But thankfully, research has found a solution to this problem in the form of artificial joints.
A joints replacement surgery is usually performed for arthritis treatment. During this surgery, an synthetic joint prosthesis is used to replace the damaged or worn out bone and cartilage. Usually the joint replacement therapy is carried out for knee replacement surgery, hip replacement surgery or a shoulder replacement surgery.
Artificial joints are of many types. Even the material from which joints are made differs according to the natural joint it will be used to replace. The main point which is noted here is the kind of movement required by the artificial joint. It is extremely important that the artificial joint is of good quality and properly designed as it has to carry out all the functions of the natural joints without creating any complications or causing any problems. Now a days, artificial joints are available for hips, shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers, ankles and toes.
Latest research has made artificial joints to be made from metal and polyethylene. Earlier, artificial joints were made from surgical metals like steel, titanium and cobalt. These metals have a disadvantage as joints made from these materials are tough to join to the bone. Therefore, plastic is used to make joints as these joints are both hard and smooth. Such joints can very easily slide against one another and move smoothly. Thus cementless replacements are possible with such joints.
Artificial joints can also be made from ceramic or oxidized zirconium. Such joints are especially used for hip replacement. These joints are softer and not suitable for knee as these are not hard enough to bear the weight combined with stress of joint movement.
Artificial joints are also made from Zirconium. This newly developed material is hard like metal and yet smooth like ceramic on the outer surface. Joints made form Zirconium are expected to be the primary material which will be used for making joints in times to come. This material is also less susceptible to wear and tear.
Joint replacement surgery may be undertaken for the part of the joint or for the complete joint. These artificial joints are found to be extremely useful as the patients going in for these joints experience a remarkable reduction in pain and excellent function of the joints. The joints are long lasting and easily last for about 10-15.