This is most prevalent to vehicles that travel difficult terrain for the road. It can give much stress to an axle assembly. The road's bumps, turns and potholes and immoderate shifting can really damage a drivetrain, especially its component parts. The axle shaft can give much stress to the CV-joint (constant velocity) or even a U-joint if not properly handled. The gear transfer should be seamless. This could be done if the parts are meticulously greased and are protected from outside elements like dirt.
Certain steps must be always followed to make sure that your drivetrain assembly is always working fine. The boot or the rubber gasket that protects a CV-joint from dirt and other elements should always be inspected for leaks. Contamination inside the axle assembly can cause much damage for the joints. And repairing is not an easy job to do. Simply flushing contaminants from the drivetrain assembly won't do... and often times, it even worsens the problem. It is so messy and it has a high degree of failure. A small amount of contaminants can really destroy your axle assembly's joints.
Replacing individual axle components may be satisfactory but buying a new axle assembly is even worst. Keeping your axle assembly free from contaminants is a must. But if worse comes to worst, you need an auto parts store which can give you OEM quality axle assembly parts.