Total joint replacement is usually reserved for patients who have severe arthritic conditions. Most patients who have artificial hip or knee joints are over 55 years of age, but the operation is being performed in greater numbers on younger patients thanks to new advances in artificial joint technology.
Circumstances vary, but generally patients are considered for total joint replacement if:
- Functional limitations restrict not only work and recreation, but also the ordinary activities of daily living
- Pain is not relieved by more conservative methods of treatment, such as those described above, by the use of a cane, and by restricting activities
- Stiffness in the joint is significant
- X-rays show advanced arthritis or other problems