Challenges to Creating Replacements That Work
Putting the New Joint in Place
  Putting a replacement joint in place successfully requires:  
  • Placing the implant with the smallest possible surgical path of entry
  • Avoiding, as much as possible, damage to the tendons and ligaments that surround the joint and help it work
  • Ensuring that the size and shape of the replacement chosen is the best possible match for the particular individual
  • Aligning the implants so that the motion of the new joint is as close as possible to the motion of the original joint. Identical implants may need to be placed at slightly different angles in different patients, since not everyone is built in quite the same way.
  • Keeping scarring to a minimum, not only for cosmetic reasons, but because scar tissue can interfere with the new joint's operation

In the early days of joint replacement, surgeons had to discover and develop the best techniques for this new procedure.

Today, joint replacement surgery is being transformed by the use of computers, both for pre-planning and during the surgery itself.