Friday, March 4, 2011
Medical Reports: Perfect Fit
Chronic knee pain can put your life on hold, and many will need knee-replacement surgery. Now, new technology is making that procedure easier on the patient with longer-lasting results. 7's Richard Lemus shows us why some surgeons are calling it a 'Perfect Fit.'
WSVN -- Scott Choyce enjoys staying active, but after about eight years of chronic knee pain, that all came to a halt.
Scott Choyce, Needed Total Knee Replacement: "I was limping quite severely towards the end, and every day, people would say, 'What's wrong with your leg? What's wrong with your leg?'"
Scott was told he needed a total knee replacement, something doctors are seeing in younger patients.
Dr. Johannes Blom, Memorial Regional Hospital South: "They're more active and want to continue their active lifestyle."
Dr. Johannes Blom: "That is bone on bone. There is no cartilage left in that whatsoever."
An X-ray shows surgery was Scott's only option.
The good news: Orthopedic surgeons at Memorial Regional Hospital South are using new technology to make it easier.
Here's how it works: An MRI of the knee is taken. Then, a computer makes a virtual image of exactly where the cuts need to be made for an implant to be inserted. Then, special cutting blocks are created.
Dr. Johannes Blom: "It's just one way it fits, and it makes it very simple. Once we get that, you pin it in place, and then, you make the cut through here."
The entire process happens before going into the operating room, so that means less time under anesthesia for the patient, less blood loss and less risk of infection.
Dr. Johannes Blom: "We've cut out about 22 steps out of the procedure, which cuts out a lot of time."
Since the implant fits more precisely in the patient, it's supposed to last longer.
Instead of needing another knee replacement in about 10 years, doctors say this should last close to 30 years.
Dr. Johannes Blom: "This can be the difference between hopefully not having to have a revision ever versus one, two or more revisions in their lifetime."
Great news for Scott, who's back to riding his bike again pain-free, thanks to a perfect fit.
Scott Choyce: "I definitely feel that it's different, because it's made just for you."
Richard Lemus: "Patients will still need the standard six weeks of physical therapy following surgery."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Memorial Healthcare System