Jun - 24 - 2015

The latest improvements in knee replacement surgery

Knee replacement is often considered the only solution for people suffering from chronic pain or who have damaged cartilages as a consequence of injuries suffered. While anti-inflammatories can help relieve swelling and pain, they will not help you regain mobility.  Up until now, knee replacement surgery was avoided due to the fact that it was classified as being a highly invasive procedure and that it can be accompanied by complications. However, joint replacement done by the best knee surgeon Sydney has a high success rate and medicine has improved the way doctors handle procedures.

Quadriceps-sparing total knee replacement

The innovation of this new medical procedure consists of the ability of making minimal incisions and preventing trauma to the quadriceps muscle as the name suggests. The incision made is about three or four centimetres long and allows the patient to recover more rapidly, many patients having being able to walk after a week or so. Compared to traditional knee replacement surgery where the patient has to wait for months in order to regain mobility of the leg, this type of procedure can be regarded as a breakthrough in medical care due to the fact that the muscles and tendons are not separated in the course of the procedure. Moreover, after undergoing traditional surgery many patients accuse post-operative pain, while quadriceps-sparing knee replacement can spare the patient the effort of following physiotherapy treatment.

Patient-specific cutting blocks

During this procedure the doctor orders a CT scan or an MRI and sends them to a manufacturing company in order to receive a computerized surgical plan. The role of the CT or MRI is to examine more closely certain anatomical features of the patient’s joint and get as much information as possible so as to be able to appreciate the size of the implant and decide where to make the cuts. Consequently, following the directions given by the surgeon, the manufacturer fabricates cutting blocks that are specially designed for each patient and his particular needs. The advantage of such a procedure relies in the fact that the implant will last for a longer period of time due to the fact that the cutting blocks are carefully measured so as to fit the anatomy of each person.

Cementless knee replacement

The method of fixation carries a lot of weight in the life span of the artificial joint. The ingenuity is represented by the fact that instead of the old-fashioned cement that is usually used in order to attach the prosthesis, new procedures make use of a special layer that consists of crystal and other materials that have small gaps. The reason for which this is considered to be more efficient than cement is the fact that substances such as crystal favour the growth of the bone directly onto the component, thus ensuring that a solid binding is formed whereas cement can always loose and collapse. According to recent studies uncoated cementless designs have contributed to a more durable femoral fixation. In other words, the main benefits of cementless coating are represented by effortless revision and the limitation of the number of interfaces for loosening.

To conclude, the high demand for total knee replacement has led to the upgrading of deigns. The latest techniques provide better accuracy for the positioning of the artificial joint and preventing complications such as loosening and failure. Due to the faulty implementation of knee devices patients can be subject to painful complications. Advancements such computer-assisted surgeries have even reduced the recovery period and people nowadays can choose from any treatment plan that they feel comfortable with.

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