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Sunday, December 30, 2007

American Academy for Orthopedic Surgeons: 90% of Knee Replacements for Arthritis Provide Dramatic Improvement

The American Academy for Orthopedic Surgeons says that "improvements in surgical materials" have greatly increased the effectiveness of knee replacements for arthritis. The first knee replacement was in 1968, and approximately 300,000 are performed each year. People who have knee pain that limits daily activities may benefit from a knee replacement. Ninety percent of people who have a knee replacement experience a "dramatic reduction of knee pain and a significant improvement in the ability to perform common activities."

The website explains that after surgery a person can expect to participate in the following.

Recreational Walking
Light hiking
Recreational Biking
Ballroom Dancing
Normal Stair Climbing

Recently I visited with a gentleman who had both knees replaced five weeks ago. He was sitting in the jacuzzi at my healthclub. Having both replaced at once is unusual. When he finished soaking int he jacuzzi he walked back to the clubhouse area and I could not see any difference in his walking from any person with healthy knees.

He explained that he had always been athletic, and that the wear and tear on his knees had worn them out. After the surgery he said he made an especially active effort to exercise, perform the physical therapy, and follow all the recommendations. He was looking forward to getting back into playing golf.

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