June 16, 2024

Endoprosthesis: Artificial Joint Replacements Saving Lives

Hip and Knee Replacements – A Boon for Patients Suffering from Joint Pain

Joint pain caused due to conditions like arthritis can make daily tasks unbearable for patients. Endoprosthesis or artificial joint replacements provide relief from debilitating joint pain and help improve mobility. As the population ages, more and more people are opting for hip and knee replacements to continue leading an active life. Here is an in-depth look at endoprosthesis and its importance.

What is an Endoprosthesis?

An endoprosthesis, commonly known as a joint replacement, is a surgical procedure where parts of the damaged or diseased hip, knee or other joints are replaced with artificial parts. It essentially involves removing the worn or damaged parts of the joint and replacing them with artificial components made of metals, plastics or ceramics. Common types of endoprosthesis include total hip replacement, partial hip replacement, total knee replacement and unicondylar knee replacement.

The artificial joint mimics the function of the natural joint and helps restore mobility. Endoprosthesis provides relief from joint pain and allows patients to flex, extend and bear weight on the operated joint without discomfort. It allows patients of arthritis or other joint conditions to resume normal activities of daily living.

Rising Numbers of Hip and Knee Replacements

Data from global joint registries shows that over 1.4 million hip and knee replacements are performed annually worldwide. In the USA alone, over a million joint replacements are done each year. The number of joint replacements have increased dramatically over the past few decades due to aging population and rising obesity levels.

According to estimates, the demand for hip and knee replacements will continue rising in the coming years. By 2030, the number of primary total hip and knee replacements in the US is projected to grow by 174% and 673% respectively. This surge is anticipated due to the growing pool of elderly who are opting for joint replacements to maintain mobility and quality of life.

Common Conditions Requiring Joint Replacements

The most common reason for needing a joint replacement is osteoarthritis where the cartilage covering the ends of bones wears off resulting in bone-on-bone friction causing pain. Other conditions treated with endoprosthesis include rheumatoid arthritis where joint inflammation destroys cartilage, avascular necrosis where poor blood supply damages bone in the joint, fracture injuries and previous joint surgery.

Though older individuals are more likely to need joint replacements due to arthritis, younger patients may require it due to sports injuries or congenital abnormalities affecting joints. Advanced treatment options now enable young and active patients to undergo joint replacement surgery and resume high impact activities.

Surgical Procedure and Recovery

Total hip or knee replacement surgery is performed under general or regional anesthesia. It takes about 1-2 hours depending on the complexity of the case. The surgeon removes damaged, worn cartilage and bone and replaces them with artifical components.

The recovery period requires 4-6 weeks of rest, rehabilitation therapies and restrictions on activities. Patients gradually regain their mobility and strength over this period. Most people are able to resume light activities within 2 months and return to routine chores in 3-6 months post surgery. However, a full recovery may take up to 1 year with some restrictions continuing.

Continued Improvements in Artificial Joint Design

Advancements in materials, design and surgical techniques have significantly improved the lifespan and outcomes of joint replacements over the decades. Artificial joints made of metal alloys like cobalt chromium and ceramics last 15-20 years on average before requiring revision surgery. Newer bio-engineered joints promise even better wear characteristics. Computer-assisted robotics are making surgeries more precise. Minimally invasive options are reducing recovery time. Developments in joint fluid lubricants and surface coatings enhance joint stability and wear resistance.

With a rapidly ageing population worldwide, endoprosthetic joint replacement is projected to become one of the most common orthopaedic procedures in the coming decades. Constant innovations are enhancing implant durability, performance and patient outcomes. Joint replacements offer relief from pain and restore mobility, enabling patients to resume normal activities and maintain their quality of life. They have proven highly effective in managing joint conditions like arthritis.

*Note:
1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it