ANTIAGING BODY TREATMENTS
The joints mobilise the rigid skeletal structure, and
as we age, their condition deteriorates in line with
the stresses we have placed upon them and other degenerative
conditions we may have suffered. This includes:
- Osteoarthritis - according to
Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin
Diseases (NIAMS). This degenerative
joint disease, marked by the breakdown of the
joint's cartilage, is not limited to older people.
Although it most commonly affects people over age
45, younger men and women also can get this disease.
Genetically deformed joint or defective cartilage
- leads to osteoarthritis.
- Excess weight, joint fracture, ligament tears,
or other injury can damage cartilage and cause osteoarthritis.
- Rheumatoid arthritis - chronic inflammation of
the joint lining causes pain, stiffness, and swelling.
The inflamed lining can invade and damage bone and
cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis generally starts in
middle age, but can also affect children and young
- Loss of bone caused by poor blood supply (avascular
- Bone tumors may be other reasons for joint replacement.
The most common degenerative disease, arthritis affects
a large percentage of the population and can start having
mobility impacts as young as age 40.
The first line of defence is normally an exercise
program and treatment with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory
drugs or corticosteroids.
If the exercise and anti-inflammatory programme does
not work, corrective surgery such as an osteotomy can
Less complex than total hip replacement, this procedure
consists of surgically repositioning the joint after
damaged bone and tissue has been removed. Recovery from
an osteotomy takes between six to 12 months and, while
it relieves pain in many cases, some patients may find
that the functioning of the hip joint continues to worsen.
This is an option when the femoral head is not too
damaged. Instead of replacing the hip with a prosthesis,
as in total hip replacement, resurfacing prosthesis
designs allow the head to be preserved and reshaped.
The resurfaced bone is then capped with a metal prosthesis.
Like total hip replacement, the socket is fitted with
In the United States, hip resurfacing is being conducted
only in FDA-approved clinical studies. Presently, no
manufacturer has obtained FDA approval to market its
hip resurfacing design.
Fortunately, an arthritic or damaged joint can be
removed and replaced with an artificial joint called
a prosthesis. The two most commonly affected joints
are the hip and knee.
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.
The most commonly used FDA-approved joint prostheses
for knees and hips are made of metal and high-density
polyethylene plastic. The metal used is usually titanium
or a mixture of cobalt and chromium.
To solve wear problems of metal-on-polyethylene in
the hip joint, three other kinds of surfaces are now
being developed: metal-on-metal, ceramic-on-polyethylene,
and ceramic-on-ceramic. The ceramic used is made from
aluminum or zirconium chemically combined with oxygen
for strength and durability.
Typically in the past, an option primarily for people
over the age of 60, who were typically less active and
consequently put less strain on an artificial hip than
do younger, more active people. Today, hip replacement
surgery can be very successful in younger people as
well, allowing them to withstand more stress and strain.
The overall health and activity levels of a patient
are now considered more important than age in determining
the success of hip replacement.
NOTE: those who suffer from severe muscle weakness
or Parkinson's disease are more likely than healthier
patients to damage or dislocate an artificial hip.
Total knee replacements are most often performed on
patients suffering from severe arthritic conditions.
Most are over the age of 55, but the procedure is performed
on younger people. Individual circumstances vary, but
generally you should consider total knee replacement
if you have been advised by your physician or Orthopaedic
- You have daily pain
- Your pain is severe enough to restrict not only
work and recreation, but also everyday activities
- You have significant stiffness in the knee
- Your knee constantly gives way
- You have significant deformity – lock-knees
In a standard total knee replacement, the damaged
areas of the thighbone, shinbone and kneecap are removed
and replaced with prostheses. The ends of the remaining
bones are smoothed and reshaped to accommodate the prostheses.
Pieces of the artificial knee are typically held in
place with bone cement.
For More Information
American Academy of
of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
News on Osteoarthritis