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Patients Happy With Knee Replacement Surgery

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Patients Happy With Knee Replacement Surgery

A new study has shown the effectiveness of knee replacement surgery…

Knee replacement is becoming an increasingly popular surgical procedure, especially with those over 60. Time or excessive strain can certainly take its toll on the vital ligaments and cartilage in the knee joint, and the number of people opting for reconstructive surgery show just how a common an ailment an injured, or worn out knee really is.

More than half a million total knee replacement procedures are performed every year in the U.S., and this number is expected to rise to around 3 million per year over the next several decades.

patients happy with knee replacement surgery 550x379 Patients Happy With Knee Replacement Surgery

95 Percent Of Patients Happy With Knee Replacement

Thankfully a new study has revealed how effective knee replacement surgery can be, which may go some way in lifting the anxiety of those awaiting the procedure to alleviate painful symptoms.

The study showed that one year after surgery, 95% of the 7000+ patients assessed reported being happy with their knee replacement results.

Study participants came from 32 stats and were treated by 200 different surgeons practicing at both academic and non-academic facilities.

Study researcher and orthopedic surgeon, David Christopher Ayers, MD, of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, said that the study is the largest to examine satisfaction with total knee replacement surgery among patients treated over the last decade:

Ninety-five percent is an astonishing number, and it points to how successful this operation is for relieving pain and restoring function to patients who can no longer control their pain with medication,

Ayers presented the findings Thursday at the 2010 annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons in New Orleans.

One patient, public relations specialist Robin Mayhall of Baton Rouge, La., now 40, was just 27 when she had two operations to replace both knees:

It was absolutely life changing. There is no doubt about it. It is the best thing I ever did.

Mayhall was much younger than most patients when she had her surgery; however rheumatoid arthritis had damaged her knee so much that deciding to undergo the procedure was an easy choice:

It had gotten to the point where I had to take [the painkiller] Vicodin every day to continue working. I would come home from work completely exhausted with no energy to run errands or do anything fun.

Within just 24 hours of having her first surgery, Mayhall was in less pain than she had been prior to her operation. Within three weeks she was already working part time.

She recognizes her experience is not typical and says her young age and relatively good health probably played a role in her quick recovery.

Prolonged postsurgical pain and long recovery times continue to be a challenge with total knee replacement surgery, says Clifford Colwell, MD, who is medical director of the Shiley Center for Orthopedic Research and Education in San Diego.

Colwell says he is not surprised that 95% of surveyed patients were happy with the results of their surgery one year later.

But he points out that when patients are surveyed three months and even six months after surgery, satisfaction rates tend to be much lower.

The overall results from knee and hip replacement surgery are about equal, but knee replacement patients tend to have a tougher time and a longer recovery,

While some patients feel fine in as little as three weeks, others take three to six months to recover.We are doing much better managing postoperative pain and reducing recovery times, but we still have a ways to go, he says.


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