More than 600,000 total knee replacements were performed in 2008.
A study released this year shows that's up 134 percent since 1999. Now, one doctor says many people could benefit from something much simpler.
Casey Lodge has always been an active guy. "I get bored sitting around." But constant knee problems have forced him to sit out. He's had four surgeries to repair the problems and developed bone marrow edema. "It was just a constant deep pain."
“The traditional answer has been a knee replacement." but Doctor Preston Wolin had another option for Casey's arthritic knee. "So the patient instead of getting a plastic and metal knee gets to keep their."
It's called Subchondroplasty. This device guides the doctor to the part of the bone near the joint that's causing pain. A small incision is made and special cement is injected. "Right into the bone."
Done by itself, Doctor Wolin says recovery time is six weeks compared to four to six months for a knee replacement. Casey had it along with another procedure to help with a knee mal-alignment. Wolin says the outpatient procedure can extend the life of knees by five to ten years. But it's not for everyone. "It's not a substitute for a knee replacement if there's advanced arthritis."
For Casey, it was the answer to his painful problem. "Got her fixed! It feels great."
The doctor says the bone cement used in Subchondroplasty dries in about 30 minutes. If not combined with another procedure a lot of patients can walk right after the treatment.