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Advanced Knee Implant To Cut Recovery Times

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A new total knee replacement technique will save patients´ anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) and posterior cruciate ligaments (PCL), cutting recovery times, Houston Methodist´s orthopaedic surgeon William Bryan said.

Previously, traditional total knee replacement procedures involved the elimination of bone “islands” which were attached to the ACL and PCL, and thus destroyed the ligaments themselves. But with the new technique, someone with a torn ALC or PCL can undergo a procedure aiming at mending those ligaments, Bryan said. Both PCL and ALC play a crucial role in the knee´s natural functions. They provide for greater joint stability and also allow people to make complex movements while playing golf, dancing or taking care of their garden.

And while old knee replacement procedures involved a four- to five-month recovery period, the new technique will shorten recovery to three or four months. An example of the new method´s progress is Ron Krist, a 77-year-old lawyer from Houston.

Some of Krist´s acquaintances underwent traditional knee replacement procedure and could not resume playing golf for a minimum of four months after the surgery, he said. However, after the new procedure, Krist himself returned to the course as early as two months.

The orthopaedic community has been looking for ways to save the ligaments in total knee replacement surgery for years, Bryan added. However, the new method and technological and design improvements have transformed the procedure for doctors and patients. Individuals can now enjoy a knee replacement procedure that will give them greater mobility and leave their knee functioning much like a normal one.