Orthopedic Surgeon near Seattle, WA
Joint Replacement Surgery

Joint Replacement Surgery

Dr. Fuchs, a board certified physician, is dedicated to managing and treating joint complications resulting from degenerative joint diseases such as arthritis, musculoskeletal disease, or joint trauma.

Damaged and deteriorated joints can lead to severe pain in the affected area. Medication and physical therapy is often the first step in treating symptoms, but with patients who do not find relief using these methods, joint replacement is sometimes recommended.  Candidates for this type of surgery often experience:

  • Pain that limits daily activities.
  • Discomfort when at rest or trying to sleep.
  • Significant loss of range of motion

Types of Arthritis That Often Lead to Joint Replacement

Many patients who consider joint replacement surgery suffer from various forms of arthritis, which can cause debilitating pain and severely limit the range of motion in the affected area. The three main types of arthritis include:

Osteoarthritis

This form of arthritis occurs as people age. The cartilage between bones begins to soften and wear away. As this tissue deteriorates, the bones begin to rub together causing pain and stiffness.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

In patients with rheumatoid arthritis, the body’s immune system attacks the membrane surrounding the joint, causing it to become inflamed and eventually wear away. 

Post-Traumatic Arthritis

After a serious injury such as a fractured bone or a torn ligament, severe and immediate damage to cartilage can occur. This cartilage loss can result in pain and stiffness.

What is an Orthopaedic Evaluation?

In order to determine whether or not a patient is a good candidate for joint replacement surgery, and orthopaedic surgeon will perform an evaluation on the affected area. During this evaluation, the doctor will:

  • Discuss your medical history. Dr. Fuchs will discuss your general health, the symptoms that you have been experiencing and when the symptoms began.
  • Perform a physical exam. The doctor will test the range of motion, stability and strength of the affected area.
  • Perform an X-ray and/or MRI. An x-ray will provide an image that can show the extent of the damage to the cartilage and bone and help the surgeon identify any abnormalities. 

Different Types of Joint Replacement

Arthritis, age, and traumatic injury can affect the entire body. The most common forms of joint replacement surgery are typically performed on the shoulders, hips and knees.

Outpatient Knee Replacement

The knee is one of the most highly-impacted joints in the body because it bears almost all of a person’s weight. A functioning knee consists of a thighbone, shinbone, and kneecaps. Tendons ligaments and cartilage connect each of these bones to achieve a forward and backward motion. A knee joint replacement surgery replaces damaged tissue with an artificial joint, helping to improve mobility and painful symptoms.

Anterior Hip Replacement

The hip is constructed with two bones that work in tandem. The ball-and-socket joint allows an extensive range of motion that allows for comfortable sitting, standing, walking and bending. A hip replacement surgery replaces damaged cartilage with artificial parts that help relieve pain and improve function.

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Shoulder Replacement Surgery in Kirkland, WA

The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body. The ball-and-socket joint allows 360 degrees of motion and consists of three main parts – the upper arm, collarbone, and shoulder blade. These three components work together with the help of cartilage and a lubricated membrane. Shoulder replacement surgery replaces damaged tissue within this system to help alleviate pain and restore range-of-motion.

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