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Medical Advances Revolutionize Hip Replacement and Knee Replacement
Date:12/28/2009

In the past few years, major advances have revolutionized hip replacement and knee replacement. Patients have more options, according to Dr. Geoffrey Westrich, co-director of joint replacement research at Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan.

(PRWEB) December 28, 2009 -- In the past few years, major advances have revolutionized the way doctors perform hip replacement and knee replacement surgery to relieve severe arthritis pain. "These days, patients have more options. Newer techniques and better technology have made joint replacement easier for the patient," says Dr. Geoffrey Westrich, an orthopedic surgeon and co-director of joint replacement research at the highly-rated Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan.

One such advance is minimally invasive joint replacement, according to Dr. Westrich, who is an associate professor of orthopedic surgery. This newer technique achieves the same goal as the standard operation, but with a three- or four-inch incision, as opposed to 12 or 14 inches. The operation entails replacing the painful arthritic joint with a fully functioning hip or knee implant.

"This is a major advance. Aside from the better cosmetic result, the smaller incision results in less pain, a quicker recovery, a shorter hospital stay and easier physical therapy," Dr. Westrich explains. “Mini-incision” joint replacement requires a high level of skill and training, and generally only highly specialized orthopedic surgeons perform the procedure.

Hip Resurfacing
Some patients with severe hip arthritis may qualify for a newer procedure called “hip resurfacing”, which conserves more bone than total hip replacement, according to Dr. Westrich. Unlike a total hip replacement, in which the entire hip joint is removed, the newer procedure resurfaces the joint, much like a dentist would cap a tooth. The worn
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