A joint is formed by the ends of two or more bones that are connected by thick tissues. The bone ends of a joint are covered with a smooth layer of articular cartilage, and normal cartilage allows nearly frictionless and pain-free movement. When the cartilage is damaged or diseased by arthritis, the joint become stiff and painful, and does often lead to total incapacitation of the affected patient.
The procedure of removing a damaged or arthritic joint and replacing it with an artificial joint is called Total Joint Replacement. The goal of this procedure is to relieve pain and restore the joints function. Although weight bearing joints such as hip and knee are the most common joint to be replaced, this surgery can be conducted on other joints, including the ankle, foot, shoulder, elbow and fingers.