Due to technological advances, more people with knee arthritis are now able to benefit from partial knee replacement, according to a paper published in the January, 2008 Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Previously, this procedure was performed mainly on patients who were older and who lived a more sedentary lifestyle. Younger, more active people required full knee replacements to ease arthritis pain and maintain knee function.
"A major challenge in orthopaedics is treating younger patients with knee replacements," says Todd Borus, MD, co-author of the study and orthopaedic surgeon at Northwest Surgical Specialists in Vancouver, Washington. "With baby boomers being more active and wearing out their knees earlier, partial knee replacements are an option."
Partial replacements are becoming more attractive to patients due to:
- Higher patient satisfaction
- Preserving more normal knee motion
- Less blood loss during surgery
- Faster recovery time
Dr. Borus points out that even though more patients are being accepted for partial knee replacements, they are not for everyone. "The criteria for partial knee replacements are still relatively strict. The arthritis has to be well confined to one part of the knee. Even though the techniques and implants are improving, not everyone is a candidate."
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