Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows just how prevalent arthritis is as a medical condition, affecting the lives of over 50 million people all over the United States. According to their findings, almost half of adults aged 65 and older have reported being diagnosed with some kind of arthritis during the years 2010 to 2012.

While arthritis is popularly believed to be a specific disease affecting the joints, it’s actually a group of different types of related conditions differentiated by how they cause joint damaged in the body. The two main kinds of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The first kind causes damage to the joint’s cartilage, while the second refers to arthritis caused by damage to the synovial membrane which protects and encloses the inner surfaces of a joint’s capsules.

Regardless of the specific kind, arthritis can be caused and worsened by several risk factors, the most significant of which is age. The CDC has found that around 62% if adults living with arthritis are 65 years and older. In some cases, arthritis can be caused by genetic predisposition, meaning that people with a family history of the disease are more likely to develop some form of the disease. Other factors that increase a person’s risk to developing arthritis are obesity and any previous joint injuries due to accidents.

Despite its commonality, arthritis can be a difficult condition to deal with. Patients with severe cases of arthritis suffer from extreme pain and difficulty moving. While most patients can experience relief and comfort from medication and physical therapy, some might have joint damage that is so severe it needs to be remedied through surgery. These patients get their damaged joint removed and replaced with implants through a procedure called joint replacement surgery. This surgery is typical for replacing damaged knees and hips, as well as defective shoulder replacement.

Joint replacement surgery has many advantages, but it also comes with certain risks. These risks can be particularly dangerous if the implants used during the procedure are found to be defective due to pharmaceutical errors. These defects can cause metal toxicity and bone and tissue damage. It can also cause the implants to degenerate faster than is typical, as well as cause them to dislodge suddenly. Considering these risks, patients are advised to take active part in their treatment plans and have honest conversations with their physicians regarding their specific concerns.