suffering from early-stage osteoarthritis of the knee now
have a promising new alternative that could delay knee replacement
a small, minimally invasive device that fits between natural
bone structures of the knee, allows surgeons to preserve the
patient's bone by replacing only damaged cartilage.
short-term options for delaying knee replacement included
arthroscopic surgery or regular, extended use of pain medications.
Long-term treatment meant a partial or total replacement of
the knee with an artificial implant.
however, adapts to -- and moves with -- the normal motion
of the individual knee, and does not require bone cuts. The
metallic insert improves joint stability while helping to
relieve the arthritic pain.
is an exciting time in the area of joint restoration,"
said Dr. Richard Hallock, surgeon who designed the UniSpacer.
"With this new procedure, we may be able to extend a
patient's active lifestyle by delaying traditional knee replacement
and retaining the natural anatomy."
under general or regional anesthesia, the surgery generally
takes about an hour, and most patients are able to resume
normal activities within a few months.
of May 19, 2002