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Arthroplasty is a surgical procedure to restore the function of a joint. A joint can be restored by resurfacing the bones. An artificial joint (called a prosthesis) may also be used. 

Arthroplasty may be used when medical treatments no longer effectively relieve joint pain and disability. 

People who have arthroplasty generally have substantial improvement in their joint pain, ability to perform activities, and quality of life. 

Most joint surgery involves the hip and knee, with surgery on the ankle, elbow, shoulder, and fingers being done less often. 

Various types of arthritis may affect the joints. Osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, is a loss of the cartilage or cushion in a joint, and is the most common reason for arthroplasty. 

There may be other reasons for your healthcare provider to recommend arthroplasty. Please see hip replacement and knee replacement surgical procedures for more specific information.

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