What are the latest advancements in knee replacement surgery?

Robert J. Otto, MD
Orthopedic Surgery
One improvement involves the implant material, polyethylene, which now includes antioxidant additives to try to prevent premature breakdown. Also, newer implants are available in many more sizes to more precisely match the patient and fine tune knee motion and stability. 
Partial knee replacments have improved with the design of better instrumentation and implants. There is an ACL-sparing total knee replacement that may improve knee outcomes by maintaining more normal motion of the original knee. Advances in computer navigation and robot-assisted knee replacement are helping to improve the accuracy of bony cuts. Improved designs and bony ingrowth surfaces are attempting to try to decrease failures by loosening in cementless knee replacements. A quadriceps-sparing approach is intended to decrease postoperative pain and speed recovery, although this is debated. Spinal anesthesia has allowed patients to recover much faster with fewer complications. Nerve blocks have improved to decrease muscle weakness and maintain pain control.  Some patients are even able to go home the same day from surgery.

Continue Learning about Knee Replacement

Know Before You Go: Knee Replacement
Know Before You Go: Knee Replacement
Have you had to cut back on activities of daily living because of knee pain? Have you found it more difficult to negotiate stairs, get out of your car...
Read More
How long after knee replacement surgery can I fully straighten my knee?
Jeanne Morrison, PhDJeanne Morrison, PhD
You should be able to passively (with the help of someone else) straighten your leg immediately afte...
More Answers
What happens in the first few days after knee replacement surgery?
Travis M. Hendry, MDTravis M. Hendry, MD
While you're in the hospital after knee replacement surgery, your goal is to build your strength...
More Answers
What Is a Total Knee Replacement?
What Is a Total Knee Replacement?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.