New Knees that Fit

Seven's On Call with Dr. Jay Adlersberg
December 13, 2007 9:00:00 PM PST
It's a common problem: 19 million Americans see their doctors each year complaining of knee pain. But only about 300,000 undergo knee replacement surgery. More patients may soon decide to get a new knee with the arrival of a new, more-customized replacement.Seven's On Call with more.

Kelly Kirkbride considers it a miracle she's back on the job as an attorney.

"The standing, the stairs, just even walking from my car to the building was impossible," Kirkbride says.

For years, her knees hurt so badly, she could barely function. Now, she and others are finding new life in a recently- approved knee replacement.

"A knee replacement is a quarter-inch metal and plastic surface and it only replaces the articular cartilage in the knee. That's what wears out when you get osteoarthritis," says Paul Lux, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at the Orthopedic Center of St. Louis.

Until recently, doctors doing joint replacement surgery had only a few knee sizes to choose from. The newly approved Advanced Stature knee offers more narrow sized options to give patients a better fit.

"This gave us a whole variety of sizes and people who before we had to compromise on, sort of, 'This fits okay but it's not perfect.' Now, we can say that things are getting pretty close to fitting perfect," Dr. Lux says.

The newer replacements last about twenty years and can be easily replaced. Dr. Lux says younger patients are choosing the surgery so they can return to their active lives.

"With this knee replacement, if you wanted to snow-ski or water-ski or play golf -- that's fine," Dr. Lux says.

With two new knees, Kirkbride can go out to movies, clean her house -- even use stairs.

"I have not enjoyed doing things like this in so long."

Best of all, she greets each day without pain.

The advanced stature knee costs about $5,000, most of which is covered by insurance.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Wright Medical Technology, Inc.
(800) 238-7117
www.wmt.com


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