A Total Joint Replacement is when an arthritic or damaged joint is removed and replaced with an artificial joint, called a prosthesis. The goal is to relieve the pain in the joint caused by the damage done to the cartilage. The pain may be so severe, a person will avoid using the joint, weakening the muscles around the joint and making it even more difficult to move the joint.
A physical examination, and possibly some laboratory tests and X-rays, will show the extent of damage to the joint. Total joint replacement will be considered if other treatment options will not relieve the pain and disability.