Joint pain isn’t quite as certain as death and taxes, but it’s a fact of life for many people. Your joints get a lot of wear and tear, so a past injury or a condition like osteoarthritis can catch up with you as you age. Whether your problem’s in your shoulders, toes, or any joint in between, you have a lot of treatment options. One of them is a surgery called resection arthroplasty, also known as excision arthroplasty.

Arthroplasty is surgery to rebuild your joint. There are many kinds, including having a joint replaced. Resection means to take something out. Resection arthroplasty is surgery where your doctor removes part of your joint to relieve your symptoms. The space that’s left fills in with scar tissue over time.

For some joint problems, it’s a common surgery. For others, it’s used only as a last resort.

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