What Kinds Of Surgical Procedures Are Used To Treat Osteoarthritis Or Pain Resulting From Osteoarthritis?

Dr. Richard Illgen answers the question: 'Surgery For Osteoarthritis Pain?'

ByABC News
April 1, 2008, 1:38 PM

— -- Question: What kinds of surgical procedures are used to treat osteoarthritis or pain resulting from osteoarthritis?

Answer: As far as arthritis of the knee, there are joint preserving and joint replacing options. The joint preserving options try and avoid joint replacement surgery. Those are largely arthroscopic debridement of the knee, meaning putting a scope into the knee and taking care of torn cartilage and lose bits of cartilage of the knee as well as lavaging the knee.

When that's not effective and there's actual cartridge loss sometimes transplanting the cartilage or moving cartilage from one area of the knee to another is possible. When those options are no longer effective or the disease is too far advanced regardless of age, sometimes joint replacement is necessary. When joint replacement is considered, it's typically broken down into either partial or total. The partial options are either the inside part of the knee or the medial compartment of the knee, so called unicompartmental knee replacement, or the outside or lateral compartment of the knee.

Patellofemoral joint replacement, or knee cap replacement, is also being done with increasing frequency in the United States, although it has limited indications or reasons to do that procedure. Totally knee arthroplasty remains the most commonly performed procedure in the United States with over a quarter-million of those procedures preformed every year.

With regard to hip replacement, the options are similar: joint preserving options, arthroscopic surgery is sometimes indicated for torn labrum or cartilage in the hip. When that's no longer affective or the disease is too far progressed you're looking at either partial replacement with a hemi-resurfacing type procedure or total replacement. And the total replacement can be either a traditional total hip or hip resurfacing. And all of these surgical procedures are being performed with less invasive options and aggressive multimodal therapies to help improve patient outcome and speed their recovery.

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