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  • Emma B

Joint Reconstruction vs. Joint Replacement: What You Need to Know

The decision to have surgery to relieve joint pain is not an easy one. It is a decision that should be made after careful consideration and consultation with an orthopaedic specialist. Two main types of procedures are performed to relieve joint pain: joint reconstruction and joint replacement.

Both procedures have their advantages and disadvantages. The type of procedure that is right for you will depend on the severity of your joint pain and the damage to your joint.



What is a reconstruction?


Joint reconstruction is a surgical procedure that aims to restore and repair the function of the joint. New surgical techniques are being used to improve the joint rather than replace it.

This is a preferred method since it has a faster recovery and is less invasive, unless the joint has been damaged beyond repair.


Types of reconstruction surgery?


Arthroscopy is a type of surgery that allows your doctor to see inside your joint without making a large incision. They do this by inserting a small camera, called an arthroscope, into the joint. This procedure is used to diagnose and treat conditions of the joints, such as:

- Torn cartilage

- Damaged ligaments or tendons

- Inflammation

- Joint stiffness

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure, which means that it requires only a small incision. This results in less pain and a quicker recovery time for the patient.


Osteotomies can be performed using a variety of different techniques, depending on the specific goal of the surgery. The most common type of osteotomy is an open procedure, which involves making an incision in the skin and cutting the bone with a saw. Other types of osteotomies can be done using special instruments that are inserted through small incisions.

After the bone is cut, it is typically held in place with metal screws or plates. In some cases, a bone graft may also be used to help fuse the broken bone together.


Arthrodesis is a surgical procedure that involves fusing two bones together. The purpose of this procedure is to reduce pain and improve function in a joint that is severely damaged or diseased. It is typically used as a last resort after other conservative treatments, such as physical therapy and medication, have failed to provide relief.

There are a variety of different types of arthrodesis, and the specific procedure used will depend on the joint involved and the individual patient's needs. The most common types of arthrodesis are ankle arthrodesis, elbow arthrodesis, and hip arthrodesis. You will most likely undergo this reconstruction if you are experiencing or need one of the following:

- Knee multi-ligament reconstruction

- Patella realignment

- Deformity correction

- Cartilage transplant

- ACL injury

- Osteoarthritis

- Inflammatory conditions

- Trauma


What is a joint replacement?


A joint replacement is a surgical procedure in which the damaged or worn-out parts of a joint are replaced with new artificial parts. Joint replacement surgery is usually performed on patients who have severe arthritis or other joint-related conditions that have failed to respond to other treatments.

During joint replacement surgery, the surgeon will first remove the damaged or worn-out joint surfaces. The new artificial joint surfaces are then positioned and secured in place. The artificial joint may be made from metal, plastic, or ceramic materials.

Joint replacement surgery is major surgery, and it is important to discuss all the risks and benefits with your surgeon before proceeding. Joint replacement surgery is often very successful, and it can provide patients with significant pain relief and improvements in joint function.


In conclusion, joint reconstruction and joint replacement are both effective treatments for joint pain. The main difference between the two is that joint reconstruction preserves the patient's natural joint, while joint replacement involves replacement of the joint with an artificial one. If you are experiencing joint pain, please contact us to discuss your treatment options.

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