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Reconstructive Arthroplasty at Our Los Angeles Center

When you have a joint so swollen and stiff that walking, climbing stairs, taking a bath, getting in and out of chairs, or even sleeping is difficult, you need, not want, to get some arthritis pain relief. If, with your doctor’s guidance, you’ve tried the laundry list of non-invasive arthritis treatments — changing your diet and exercise regimens, using walking aids like canes or braces, trying physical therapy, and taking pain medications — and you’re still in a desperate state, joint replacement surgery, the ultimate in arthritis treatment, may be the arthritis pain relief solution for you.

Arthroplasty is surgery done to reconstruct or replace an arthritic or dysfunctional joint. For rheumatoid arthritis, outpatient arthroplasty can be done to restore function to or correct a deformed joint. Bones in a joint can be reshaped, or all or part of the joint can be replaced with metal or plastic parts.

Who Is a Candidate for Arthroplasty?

Arthroplasty will not cure rheumatoid arthritis, nor will it stop disease activity. But if a joint is badly diseased, surgery may provide pain relief and improve function. Arthroplasty can relieve pain and restore enough function in a joint to allow a person to do normal daily activities. Outpatient arthroplasty is considered when:

  • Symptoms can no longer be controlled with medicine, joint injections, physical therapy, and exercise
  • Pain from rheumatoid arthritis can no longer be tolerated
  • You are not able to do normal daily activities
  • Narrowing of the joint space or wearing away of the cartilage and bone is causing severe pain or reduced range of motion

After the Procedure

Risks of arthroplasty include the risks of surgery and using anesthetic and the risks of:

  • Infection developing in the artificial joint (requires removal of the artificial joint and treatment of the infection)
  • Development of blood clots (thrombophlebitis)
  • Loosening of the joint


Depending on the joint, rehabilitation may take several weeks to several months. Success of arthroplasty depends in part on whether a person follows a rehabilitation program after surgery.

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