Dr Vertullo specialises in rapid recovery, minimally invasive, computer navigated, minimal pain high flex knee replacements using highly cross- linked polyethylene.
Gold Coast, Brisbane and Northern New South Wales patients who have knee replacements with this rapid recovery technique are usually in hospital less than 3 days and walking the same day as their procedure. Most patients can have their replacements performed via a lateral skin incision that improves their ability to kneel onto the knee after replacement.
Knee Replacement surgery is a very common procedure to relieve pain from severe arthritis in older patients by resurfacing the arthritic knee.
A knee replacement involves chamfering the end of the femur & tibia to match the implant. Only very thin slices from the end of the bone are removed. Typically special instruments are used to guide the surgeon during this process, typically using a wireless computer navigation system. Newer robotic guided options are also becoming available. Computer Navigation replacement positioning is regarded as the Gold Standard compared to alternatives such as Patient Specific Instruments and Guided Arm Assisted (Robotic).
Knee Replacement surgery has a high success rate in improving patients pain and function, with the Australian Hip and Knee Registry recording successful outcomes in greater than 98% of patients at 14 years with some knee replacements. There has been a gradual improvement in outcomes from TKR, due to improved prosthesis design and surgical techniques. Unfortunately, knee replacements eventually wear out and fail. Long-term failure of knee replacement is due to wearing of the polyethylene bearing surface, causing secondary bone resorption and loosening. Greater than 95% of knee replacements will survive 12-15 years at least.
Knee replacement surgery can involve all the knee surfaces, Total Knee Replacement, TKR or just part of the knee such as in Uni Knee Replacement, UKR. All patients can benefit from non-operative options before knee replacement, and for many patients in their 50's, joint resurfacing techniques with osteotomy maybe be considered.
For most people the replacement will last for the remainder of their life. Surgeons know from clinical studies and their experience, that at 10 to 15 years after implantation, 97 out of 100 knee joint prostheses are still functioning, with some prostheses lasting more than 25-30 years. Knee replacements that are inserted with crosslinked polyethylene, computer navigation, cruciate retaining, and cemented tibial fixation have documented survivorship in the Australian National Joint Registry of almost 98 % at 12 years after implantation.
If the prosthesis becomes loose or breaks, another operation known as a revision, is necessary. This involves the replacement of your prosthesis. In general, knee prostheses last longer in older and lighter people. See here for more information on Revision TKR.