Orthopaedics is the medical surgery performed on the musculoskeletal system to treat trauma, sports and accidental injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, malignant or unwanted growths, and congenital conditions. Modern orthopaedic surgery and musculoskeletal research has sought to make surgery less invasive and to make implanted components better and more durable.
Arthroscopic joint replacement refers to a procedure carried out using a small camera. It allows an orthopaedic surgeon to diagnose and treat disorders by providing a clear view of the inside. Arthroscopy has helped patients get better in a matter of days, not weeks to months required by conventional, 'open' surgery. Knee arthroscopy is one of the most common operations carried out today.
The modern total hip replacement was pioneered by Sir John Charnley in the 1960s. Joint surfaces could be substituted for using metal or high density polyethylene implants cemented to the bone. Continuous improvements in the design and technique of joint replacement including uncemented arthroplasty techniques with the bone bonding directly to the implant are going on.
Joint replacements are available for other joints on a limited basis, most notably shoulder, elbow, wrist, ankle, and fingers. Recently, surface replacement of joints, in particular the hip joint, have become more popular amongst younger patients as this type of operation delays need for the more traditional and less bone-conserving total hip replacement, but at a significant probability of early failure from fracture and bone death.