Avoiding knee replacement

What you should know about avoiding knee replacement

Avoiding knee replacement is a reachable goal for many patients with arthritis.  Artificial knee replacement usually involves “open” surgery where the ends of the thigh bone and the top of the tibia are removed and replaced with a metal and plastic joint. biologic-knee-replacement

This procedure is highly effective at removing the pain from severe joint arthritis and has survival rates in the ninety percentiles for 15 – 20 years.  However, artificial joint surgery, and avoiding knee replacement specifically, has some significant limitations and complications.  These include joint stiffness, infection, and early loosening.  Patients are often advised to limit most sports to try and increase the survival of the implant since the first avoiding knee replacement has a higher success rate than subsequent revisions due to lowered quality of the bone with aging and wear. Delaying or avoiding artificial knee replacement is particularly desirable amongst our active patients.

Biologic knee replacement is an outpatient, arthroscopic procedure that treats the damaged articular cartilage with a paste graft of stem cells, marrow and cartilage and replaces the damaged meniscus cartilage with a healthy donor meniscus.  The most common request in our practice is “Doc, isn’t there a shock absorber you can put in my knee?”  The meniscus acts as a new shock absorber protecting the repaired articular cartilage. When necessary, ligament reconstruction is combined with the procedures. These combined techniques have been scientifically-proven to help in delaying or avoiding knee replacement.  Patients then participate in an active rehabilitation program to strengthen their muscles, improve their joint motion, and balance and improve their gait so they can return to an active lifestyle while avoiding knee replacement.

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