"Now patients are back at work in a matter of weeks, compared to the past when it took months sometimes," Orozco said.
The surgery costs about $35,000, including the implants, hospital stay and post-procedure physical therapy, and it is typically covered by insurance -- but it depends on a patient's plan, Orozco said.
After surgery, Orozco said there is no reason patients shouldn't get back to activities they previously enjoyed, including sports.
"I recommend to my patients to return to what [they] love to do," he said. However, he advises obese patients to consider weight loss.
Study author Lombardi said it's rewarding to follow up with patients after their surgery.
"To see these patients with crippling arthritis in the knee be able to walk and move again -- it's amazing," he said. "We can restore them back to a very active and pain-free lifestyle."
Data and conclusions presented at meetings are typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has more about knee replacement.
SOURCES: Adolph Lombardi Jr., M.D., orthopedic surgeon, Joint Implant Surgeons, Columbus, Ohio; John Tongue, M.D., president, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and orthopedic surgeon, Tualatin, Ore., and associate professor of orthopedics, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Ore.; Fabio Orozco, M.D., joint-replacement surgeon, Rothman Institute, and assistant professor, orthopedic surgery, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia; American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons presentation, Chicago
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