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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.

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