Description
Description
Description
Description

Glossary

Accelerated rehabilitation
This is a revolutionary technique used in joint replacement surgery to improve pain relief and minimise blood loss to return you to well being as quickly as possible. It involves giving drugs before your operation to help pain relief and reduce blood loss. During the operation your operated tissues are injected with local anaesthetic and you are also given drugs to improve your pain. After you go on a cocktail of drugs to help your pain management and recovery.

Acetabulum
The cup part of the hip joint that is on the outside of the pelvis.

Arthritis
The disease that leads to the loss of cartilage at the ends of bones that are in contact in a joint.

Arthroplasty
The worn out painful joint is replaced surgically with a artificial one.

Anaesthetist
Or gas man/woman the doctor that looks after your pain control and gives you the anaesthetic that allows the surgeon to operate. This may be either a general anaesthetic where a machine breathes for you or various blocks that make your nerves stop working temporarily to the operation site e.g. a spinal.

Avascular necrosis
This is when the blood supply to a bone stops and the bone dies and scars up.

Cartilage
The shiny, slippy material that covers bone ends in joints to allow very smooth movement.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
Blood clots form in the veins deep in the muscle in the calves or thigh. They cause pain on occasions and the leg to swell. You have an increased risk of these if you have an operation as your blood becomes stickier and often you move around less. Rarely they can break off and float around your blood vessels ending up in your lungs causing a pulmonary embolus. This can be life threatening. If you have a proven DVT you will need to go on to a medicine called warfarin for six months and this will require regular blood tests to monitor your response to it.

Dislocation
This is when the two parts of a joint become separate and no longer work as they are supposed to. You will experience pain and loss of function of the limb if this happens. You are at risk of this if you have a hip replacement as it is a ball and socket joint.

Femur
The thigh bone the top part is a ball shape and with the acetabulum forms the ball and socket joint of the hip. The lower end is bell shaped and with the tibia (shin bone) and patella (knee cap) forms the knee joint.

Leg length discrepancy
Every effort is made to make the length of the legs equal after a hip replacement, however on occasions to create a stable hip that doesn’t dislocate the leg is lengthened. This is often only by 1 to 2 cm, some people find this feels abnormal and require a shoe insert in the shoe on the un-operated side to make the legs feel balanced.

Meniscus
These are two horse shoe shaped structures that sit on top of your shin bone (tibia). They deepen the knee joint and reduce stresses within your knee during increased impact activities.

Patelofemoral joint
The area behind the knee where the knee cap moves against the front of the femur (thigh bone).

Pulmonary Embolus (PE)
See Deep vein thrombosis. This is when a clot travels to the lungs from the calf. It causes chest pain and breathlessness, occasionally you may have no symptoms. If large enough it can kill you. Thankfully it is very rare following joint surgery.

Revision operation
The first time a joint is replaced is called a primary any surgery on the same joint after this is called a revision. The outcome after a revision is often not as good as there will be scar tissue and also bone loss however it depends on the reason for the revision.

Sciatic nerve
This is the main nerve that travels down the back of the leg. It passes close to the acetabulum. It is at risk of injury during surgery and can be either stop working temporarily or permanently. If it stops working you are unable to lift your foot upwards at the ankle and need to wear a splint whilst walking.

Tibia
See femur

Unicompartment knee replacement
The knee has three compartments that make up the joint. If arthritis only affects only a single compartment (usually the inside) that part can be replaced with a mechanical joint leaving the rest of the knee intact.
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