Knees are the most commonly replaced joint in the human body, with an estimated 700,000+ replacement surgeries performed each year. This represents a drastic jump from 250,000 just 15 years ago. In addition, doctors are performing more knee replacements for younger patients than at any other time in the past.
Because of how common knee surgeries are, it is only natural that patients and doctors alike are interested in advances make the procedure less invasive with more comfortable results that last longer, helping to lessen the likelihood of revision or secondary surgeries.
Less Invasive, More Precise Procedures
If a person doesn’t need a knee replacement but needs the knee cleaned up and repaired, most of those surgeries are done now using a minimally invasive arthroscopic technique – which involves using smaller incisions, miniature instruments, and sometimes even robotic-assisted technology so there is zero chance of diverging from the preoperative plan.
Robotic-assisted knee replacements in particular allow a level of precision not available with human hands and ensure the positioning and placement of the prosthetic goes exactly as planned.
Imaging advances now allow more detailed models of a patient’s knee prior to surgery, plus precision 3D printing for perfectly sized joint replacement components. These tech advances result in a better, more comfortable fit and joint replacements that last for longer periods of time.
Smarter, Longer-Lasting Knee Implants
Typically, knee joint prosthetics last approximately 20 years before another surgery becomes necessary. Newer materials offer improvements so that patients now may be able to expect implants to last up to 30 years. This is particularly notable because revision surgery is often more difficult than the original surgery.
There are even smart implants that use sensors and can advise patients when certain motions might affect the lifespan of the implanted joint.
Faster Post-Surgical Recovery
After knee surgery, you can expect to be up and walking using an assistive device like a walker or crutches usually within the first 24 hours. This helps to keep the joint flexible and make your recovery efforts go better and faster.
Many knee replacements are done now on an outpatient basis, depending on a variety of factors like age and overall health, allowing patients to recuperate in the comfort of their own homes.
Due to the minimally invasive surgical techniques (such as arthroscopy) used in outpatient procedures, there is less cutting and therefore less trauma to recover from. This also lessens the likelihood of complications such as post-surgical infections, getting you back to your normal routine much quicker than traditional, “open” surgeries.
Then, too, procedures such as partial knee replacement involve removing only the damaged areas of the knee. This offers faster healing time and that is always a welcome outcome.
It seems that society is indeed on the cusp of many truly amazing advances that will continue to revolutionize knee surgeries for the foreseeable future.
The professionals at Movement Orthopedics offer some of the best materials available and use the latest, cutting-edge technology to ensure a successful outcome of your knee surgery. Call them at (586) 436-3785 or request an appointment using the convenient online form.