Biology trumps bionics: An alternative to total knee replacement
If you have severe knee pain or chronic knee inflammation and swelling which cannot be improved by minor surgery or physical therapy, a doctor may recommend that you have total knee replacement surgery. For many people, after years of agony, this operation is a godsend. The procedure relieves pain and greatly enhances their quality of life, allowing them to return to work and resume activities that they have not been able to enjoy in years.
But artificial knee replacements are not a perfect solution. Studies have shown that up to 50% of recipients still have some pain after the procedure. Surgeons are reluctant to perform knee replacements on younger people because the parts don’t last. Subsequent replacements are more complex and wear out even faster.
Many of the arthritic patients I see are under 70 years old and have years of playing sports and being active ahead of them. Therefore I like to do everything possible to rebuild their knee joint with biologic tissues rather than artificial materials to help delay the time in which an artificial joint replacement is necessary.
This regenerative approach to healing is the new frontier in modern medicine as researchers all over the world look for ways to rebuild and regenerate tissues and organs, harnessing the body’s natural ability to heal itself. In many cases these solutions are a long way off, but in orthopedics, we have been practicing them for years.
A BioKnee is an alternative to an artificial knee replacement. It combines three key procedures that rebuild, regenerate or biologically replace the damaged parts of the knee.