Understanding Hip and Knee Arthritis Surgery
Arthritis has existed for thousands of years. There are about 200 types that can affect all ages, although the most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It was only in the twentieth century that the two were recognised as different. Indeed, as recently as the eighteenth century all forms of arthritis were thought to be caused by gout.
Human beings are not alone in developing arthritis. Animals can also suffer from it, and ancient humans also developed it. Over 50 per cent of the population have arthritis in one or more of their joints. By the time you are 75 years old, there is an 85 per cent chance that you will have developed arthritis somewhere, particularly in the larger joints such as the hip or knee.
As arthritis is so common it is a major concern to the whole population. Not only does it affect the individual who has developed the disease, but it also affects relatives, friends, work colleagues and others, who must provide support for those who have it. Quality of life plummets, income can fall and treatment is regularly needed.
Treatment can be either medical, with the provision of drugs and other non-invasive therapies, or surgical. The purpose of this book is to look at the various surgical solutions. Much of an orthopaedic surgeon’s work in the modern era concerns the surgery of arthritis.
The two most common joints affected are the hip and the knee, both being major weight-bearing joints which for a long period take the knocks and thumps of everyday life. Surgical solutions can take many forms. Some are widely performed, whereas others are to be found only in specialist centres.
Despite the frequency of surgery, there are few places a patient may learn about the relative merits and disadvantages of surgery. This book aims to fill that gap.
• Over 50 per cent of the population have arthritis in one or more of their joints
• By the age of 75, there is an 85 per cent chance that you will have developed arthritis somewhere
• Treatment of arthritis can be either medical or surgical
• The two most common joints affected are the hip and the knee