Every year 700,000 Americans get their worn-out knees replaced.
Experts predict that those numbers will continue to grow.
By the year 2030, as many as 1.28 million Americans will get new knees every year.
These days improvements in parts, technology, and surgery mean longer lasting replacements opening the way for younger patients to feel relief.
53-year-old Lisa Rivardo oversees a busy dental practice. She’s back and forth from her office to the exam rooms a hundred times a day.
“I’m up more than I’m down,” said Lisa Rivardo,
Years of working out and constant activity took a toll on her knees. Two years ago the pain became unbearable.
The right knee was bad, the left knee was worse.
“I felt like it wasn’t in it’s socket, ” said Rivardo.
Lisa tried ice, pain relievers, cortisone injections, and gel therapy. Nothing worked.
Dr. David Fowler felt that Lisa would be a good candidate for a knee replacement using a system called Mako Smartrobotics.
Doctors use ACT scan to build a 3D model of a patient’s knee and then personalize surgery based on a patient’s anatomy.
“When we open the knee, we digitalize certain points on the patient’s knee that gets sent wirelessly to the computer,” said Dr. David Fowler, MD, Orthopedic Specialist.
With new materials and technology helping align the knees, Dr. Fowler said that these replacements could last up to 30 years.
“Just like those tires being perfectly aligned, your tires don’t wear out as quickly. We’re hopeful that that’s true with the knee replacements as well,” said Dr. Fowler.
Dr. Fowler replaced both of Lisa’s knees with the Mako system. Now a year later, she is pain free.
“I am very much looking forward to being able to walk my dog this year,” said Rivardo.
Getting Pikachu off the couch and out the door with her.