Although there are many treatment options available to relieve arthritis pain, some people are so severely affected by this condition that their pain is unresponsive to conservative methods. Long-term, disabling arthritis pain may benefit from joint surgery to reduce pain and restore normal functioning. Joint surgery is typically used as a last resort treatment for arthritis.
Joint surgery depends on the location and severity of the pain. Many people undergo surgery for arthritis of the foot and ankle each year to treat their condition. These procedures can often be performed through minimally invasive techniques, as new technology helps to provide less scarring and shorter recovery times.
Total joint replacement involves removing the damaged bones and tissues and replacing them with synthetic materials to stimulate the natural behavior of the joint. While this is the most complex and advanced procedure, it is very successful and can last for several years. Less complex procedures include arthrodesis, arthroplasty, osteotomy, resection and synovectomy, which relieve pain by removing or repairing damaged joint materials.