Each year, about 40,000 Canadians have an ailing joint replaced by an artificial one. It’s become almost routine – so common we take it for granted.
But learning how to replace human joints wasn’t easy. For nearly 200 years we have been solving one problem after another in the attempt to replace deteriorated joints.
Explore how one of the following problems was solved or choose a topic from the bar above.
- Finding the right material
- Designing the shape
- Figuring out how to put the new joint in place
- Getting it to stay in place
- Reducing wear and strain
Why Do People Need Joint Replacements?
Sometimes it’s because a joint has been damaged during a fall or other accident. For others, a joint may have been harmed by overuse in athletics or on the job.
But by far the most common cause is disease. And arthritis is by far the most common disease of the joints. In fact, it’s the name of a whole group of diseases – over a hundred – that cause swelling and inflammation. Its root causes are still unknown and there is no “cure”.
Most people who get a joint replaced do so because arthritis has made it painful and difficult for them to move.For more information about arthritis,
visit The Arthritis Society.