As a result of aging or injury, the cartilage in our joints can break down. This results in a condition called arthritis. Arthritic joints become very stiff and painful. After all conservative treatment has been exhausted, some patients may be a candidate for joint replacement. During this procedure, the orthopedic surgeon removes the damaged cartilage and bone and replaces it with a prosthesis. Joint replacement has become a very common procedure (more than one million annually in the United States) and it has successfully restored function and comfort to many patients.