The prevalence of the knee replacement actually is about twice as high as the hip replacement and totaling in a recent survey that went throughout the entire country at a little over 7 million patients are currently living with either a hip or knee replacement. Majority of those are actually women compared with men for a variety of reasons.
Now a lot of people ask, what is arthroplasty? Arthroplasty, if you break down the word is actually joint. Arthro means joint and plasty means to replace or make new. And that's what we do here. We take a degenerative or joint that is otherwise disease through a variety of conditions and replace the entire joint with metal and plastic components to improve function and decrease pain.
Thankfully most insurances do cover hip and knee replacement surgery. Most of our patients are in the Medicare population, and Medicare covers this procedure entirely.
More information about hip and knee replacement surgery can be obtained through the Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons or the AAOS as well as more specifically the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons.
The two most exciting innovations in joint replacement surgery today are the advent of the ability to provide this surgery in an outpatient setting as well as the tools now utilize to assist us in creating a more precise joint replacement surgery. One of the tools we utilize is robotic technology, particularly with the knee replacements. In robotic surgery, pins are placed inside the bone on both the femur and the Tibia, allowing for the robot to identify where the knee is in space. The joint itself is then mapped out and the three dimensional model is created onto the computer surface. One of the robots requires a CT scan prior to surgery to assist in mapping out the knee prior to the performance of the knee replacement surgery itself. The robotic technology allows a surgeon to create precise cuts within one millimeter, allowing for very precise component placement during the joint replacement surgery.
In summary, total joint replacement, specifically hip and knee replacements, are one of the most successful procedures around many patients who are candidates for this surgery have failed nonoperative measures, including anti-inflammatory medicines, physical therapy, and joint injections. Patients who are good candidates for this surgery will benefit from improved mobility and activities of daily living if they are suffering from a badly arthritic joint. Most of my patients will state that they should have done this sooner. I hope you found this information useful and I wish you the best of luck on your journey towards your new joint replacement.