New partial knee replacement surgery could help young patients

13th June 2011

A new technique for knee replacement surgery could give hope to young people suffering from osteoarthritis.

Previously, younger people suffering with the condition, which occurs when the cartilage in the knee is worn away, had to wait until the whole knee was damaged before they would be considered for a replacement, but now they may be able to undergo surgery when the problem has not fully developed.

When they did eventually have surgery it could leave them with reduced mobility or facing months of rehabilitation.

This new technique targets only the damaged part of the knee and involves cementing metal and plastic to the area. It first identifies the areas which have been worn down before surgeons file rough sections of the knee and insert a thin shell of cobalt chrome and plastic. Over time they are integrated into the joint.

Unlike previous treatment, which left many people unable to walk, patients are on their feet later that day and can go home within a few days.

Last year it was found that osteoarthritis was becoming more common in young people.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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