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This is the surgical creation or reshaping of a new joint, done to relieve pain and/or restore movement. There are different forms:

  • excision arthroplasty - this is the simplest form - enough bone is removed to create a gap which becomes filled with fibrous tissue and permits movement. For example, Girdlestone's hip arthroplasty.

  • interposition arthroplasty - as for the excision type but a prosthetic or organic material is laid in the gap. For example, insertion of silastic spacers in the metacarpophalangeal joints in rheumatoid arthritis.

  • partial replacement or replacement hemiarthroplasty - one joint surface is replaced by a prosthesis with or without cement. For example, an Austin Moore prosthesis to replace a fractured neck of femur.

  • total replacement - both joint surfaces replaced by prosthetic implants and usually, fixed by cement. For example, total hip replacement.

Last reviewed 01/2018