Southern DHB Orthopaedics - Otago
Public Service, Orthopaedics
For elderly patients joint replacement surgery is commonly required to treat damaged joints from wearing out, arthritis or other forms of joint disease including rheumatoid arthritis. In these procedures the damaged joint surface is removed and replaced with artificial surfaces normally made from metal (chromium cobalt alloy, titanium), plastic (high density polyethelene) or ceramic which act as alternate bearing surfaces for the damaged joint.
These operations are major procedures which require the patient to be in hospital for several days and followed by a significant period of rehabilitation. The hospital has several ways of approaching the procedure for replacement and the specifics for the procedure will be covered at the time of assessment and booking of surgery.
Occasionally blood transfusions are required; if you have some concerns raise this with your surgeon during consultation.