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Conditions like arthritis can damage the cartilage that cushions the point where bones meet, such as the knee and hip joints.
When this pain is severe and interferes with daily activities, joint replacement, a highly successful procedure that works when other methods have failed, may be the answer.
As cartilage between the joints breaks down, symptoms such as pain, swelling and limited range of motion can lead to the weakening and possibly shrinkage of the muscles around it.
As a result, the weak muscles may not be able to support the joint, causing more pain.
This degeneration then leads to a further decrease in the range of motion. As symptoms persist and the condition worsens, the pain may become constant.
While there are many potential treatments for knee arthritis or hip arthritis, such as physical therapy to strengthen those muscles or pain-relieving medications, when these conservative methods no longer work, it may be time to consider total joint replacement.
At University of Maryland Orthopaedics, our experienced orthopedic surgeons along with our team of anesthesiologists, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists and social workers guide patients considering joint replacement from pre-surgery education through rehabilitation.