MOA Blog

Who is a Candidate for Joint Preservation?

Posted by Mountainstate Orthopedic Associates

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Sep 13, 2018 10:44:25 AM

Joint pain is common in both adolescents and adults and can stop you from enjoying the activities you love.

Damage to the joints from either injury or disease can prevent full range of movement and cause a lot of pain.

Are you a candidate for joint preservation? Read on to learn more.


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Joint preservation refers to all the types of joint care and is a way of restoring normal joint motion and function without replacement. Joint preservation allows orthopedic surgeons to avoid joint replacement, letting an individual keep their natural anatomy.

While joint preservation can be used for any joint, it is most commonly used to the knee, shoulder or hip.

Benefits of joint preservation can include restoring productivity, reducing pain, avoiding joint replacement surgery and improving joint function.


We believe that symptoms of joint pain could be early signs of cartilage injury, which leads to arthritic conditions. Therefore, a comprehensive, custom treatment plan is required to preserve the joint, ensure pain relief and return you to normal function.

You can damage a joint abruptly with an injury, or the damage can happen over time, becoming worse over time. The causes of joint pain can be:

  • Injury to the ligament: This can be caused by jerking movements, car accidents, falls, fractures, sprains, dislocations and direct blows to the muscle.
  • Meniscus: A common injury in which forceful twisting causes certain tissue in the knee to tear.
  • Arthritis: Arthritis is a group of painful and degenerative conditions marked by inflammation in the joints that cause stiffness and pain.

Most causes of joint pain do not require surgery. You will want to preserve your joints for as long as you can. This is why joint preservation is going to be the future of orthopedics.



joint preservation

Joint preservation is an option for patients that are in their early teen years to middle ages, although not everyone is a candidate. The best candidate for joint preservation is someone who is healthy, young and does not smoke.



  • Stage 1: This is early stage of arthritis. This stage involves initial inflammation in the joint capsule and swelling of synovial tissue. This induces the clear symptoms of joint pain, swelling and stiffness.
  • Stage 2: In the moderate stage of arthritis, the inflammation of synovial tissue becomes severe enough that it causes cartilage damage. In this stage, symptoms of loss of mobility and range of motion become more frequent.
  • Stage 3: Once the disease has progressed to stage three, it is considered severe arthritis. Inflammation in the synovium tissue that lines the entire inner surface of the joint is now destroying not only the cartilage of the joint but the bone as well.
  • Stage 4: In the end stage of arthritis, the inflammatory process ceases, and joints stop functioning altogether. Pain, swelling, stiffness and loss of mobility are still the primary symptoms in this stage.

Joint preservation is for patients with small arthritis, either stage one or two. It is not for patients with severe stage three and four arthritis.

If you experience any of the following, you may be a possible candidate for joint preservation:

  • Inability to do daily activities that you enjoy
  • Your pain is increasing and constant
  • You have had an arthroscopy, but the joint pain is still there
  • If you have already had surgery for a joint replacement



At your appointment, we will sit down with you to decide if joint preservation is the best option for you. Here is what to expect:

  • A physical and radiologic exam
  • Inform you on joint preservation
  • Determine the best option for you

Because every patient is different, your joint preservation approach will be customized to best fit your needs based on your goals, age and level of activity.

From your initial appointment to the end of your treatment, it is our goal to keep you as informed as possible and active in the decision making process. It’s always our policy to be conservative with our course of treatment and to only recommend surgery if absolutely necessary.

If you'd like to learn more about joint preservation, you can download our guidebook:



Mountainstate Orthopedic Associates is one of the region’s leading orthopedic practices. Our goal is to get patients back to doing the things they love by preserving the joint to relieve pain.

Joint replacements are not the only option. Our joint preservation center will allow us to provide patients with a level of expertise that no other practice in the region can offer. If you’re experiencing joint pain, get it touch with us.

We can develop a plan to get your back to the activities you want to be doing. Click below to schedule an appointment, or call us at 304-599-0720.


Topics: joint preservation