NEW YORK—June 12, 2009
“There are a wide range of people for whom total knee replacement is ideal,” said Dr. Haas, who has pioneered surgical techniques and instrumentation to advance minimally invasive knee replacement. “What these individuals all have in common is that they all have arthritis, they are in pain and they have limited function.”
Arthritis in the knee is caused by a loss of cartilage, the joint’s natural cushioning, within the joint. There are a number of ways to treat arthritis, including anti-inflammatory medication and activity modification. When these treatments fail to relieve the patient from pain, however, the next step is total knee replacement or another surgical option.
Initially developed in 1973, total knee replacement involves cutting away the arthritic bone and inserting a prosthetic joint through a small incision at the front of the knee, explained Dr. Haas. Depending on the patient, there are a number of joint implant options available, including different materials that can increase the longevity of the implant. Many of the advances in knee replacement surgery have been made at Hospital for Special Surgery, including improvements in surgical technique and the design of new implants.
“Hospital for Special Surgery has a fantastic track record for knee replacements,” said Dr. Haas. “Over the past 10 years, we have had a 98 percent success rate. More than 540,000 total knee replacements were performed nationwide in 2006 and Special Surgery alone performed nearly 3,700 knee replacements in 2008, which was the greatest number of knee replacements in the nation.”
With the large number of total knee replacements performed every year at Hospital for Special Surgery, patients can receive an implant that is personalized for their needs from the wide variety of systems available. As patients recover from knee replacement surgery, they will generally be able to walk as much as they want, and drive, after six weeks.
“There are always surgeries where you will have to do something you weren’t planning to do,” says Dr. Haas. “But with the range of implants that I have available to me at Special Surgery, I can go home feeling like I have provided my patient with the best possible care.”
The webcast will be narrated by David Mayman, M.D., attending orthopedic surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery, who will be describing and explaining the surgery to patients and physicians watching from around the country.
Patients and physicians can gain more information and view the webcast at www.hss.edu/webcast and will be able to follow medical reporter Max Gomez from WCBS’s live Twitter coverage of the surgery @wcbstv.
The webcast is supported by Smith&Nephew, a pioneering medical devices company. Dr. Haas is an inventor and designer of the LEGION Total Knee System, which will be used during the surgery shown in the webcast, and Dr. Mayman is a consultant to Smith&Nephew.