Why You Need a Joint Replacement

Usually people who need a joint replacement have a long history of osteoarthritis (ohsteeo- arth-ri-tis) or rheumatoid (rew-muh-toid) arthritis of the hip.

Rheumatoid Arthritis
When you have rheumatoid arthritis, the tissue lining the joint (synovium) becomes inflamed and causes pain. Over the years, this inflammation causes swelling in the joint and damages the cartilage and bone of the affected joints. Cartilage is the pearly white covering at the ends of bones that provides a smooth surface.

When you have osteoarthritis, the cartilage becomes frayed and pitted from wear and tear of repeated stress and trauma. When the cartilage is damaged, the normally smooth movement at the joint is replaced by painful friction. This occurs primarily in weight-bearing joints such as the hip, knee or foot.

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