Joint replacement

Joint replacement surgery replaces an arthritic or damaged joint with an artificial joint, called a prosthesis, made of metal, plastic and/or ceramic.

Our specialists perform joint replacement surgery after nonsurgical treatment has failed to provide you with joint pain relief and sufficient improvement in joint function. Most of our patients perform daily activities much more easily after a total joint replacement, and can expect the artificial joint to last up to 20 years, and sometimes longer.

Why it might be time for joint replacement surgery

There are several conditions that can lead to serious pain and disability requiring joint replacement surgery, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or damaged cartilage at the ends of bones due to an injury. If you’ve had enough of joint pain and disability interfering with your daily activities, it might be a good time to find out just how much relief joint replacement can bring.

UCHealth's renowned orthopedics practices

U.S. News and World Report is only one of the organizations heralding our orthopedics outcomes. Make an appointment today with a UCHealth orthopedic surgeon. Your personalized treatment plan is designed to alleviate your pain and restore your range of motion.

The exact process of total joint replacement surgery depends on the type of joint, but it typically takes just a few hours and may be performed in one of our many modern surgical suites. It is open surgery, but some procedures can be minimally invasive, such as a hip or knee replacement. Your orthopedic surgeon removes the damaged cartilage and bone of the joint and replaces them with prosthetic components made of metal, plastic and/or ceramic.

We can perform a joint replacement for these joints:

  • Ankle
  • Elbow
  • Hip
  • Knee
  • Shoulder
  • Wrist

Hip and knee replacements are the most common.

Any open surgery carries possible risks and complications, which your orthopedic surgeon will explain to you ahead of your surgery. Certain rare complications can arise with joint replacement surgery, including:

  • Blood clots
  • Fracture
  • Infection
  • Nerve injury
  • Prosthesis problems like loosening or dislocation

We can treat most complications successfully, and your treatment plan will outline things to be aware of as you heal post-surgery.

Your treatment plan may include physical therapy to help restore function in your new joint. A physical therapist will work with you on exercises to strengthen and stretch the muscles around your new joint, and to help your new joint achieve a full range of motion.