A recent report found that the alignment of a knee replacement implant is critical to the longevity of the implant. When your surgeon implants a knee replacement, specific bone cuts are made to shape the joint for the implant. Depending on how those cuts are made will determine the alignment of the implanted prosthesis.
If a bone cut is made in an improper angle, the study found that knee replacements were much more likely to wear out quickly. Most patients are concerned about the type of implant when considering joint replacement surgery, when probably the most important consideration should be how well the implant is put in.
A recent technology has been developed to help surgeons ensure proper alignment of joint replacement implants. Called computer-assisted surgery, the technology allows your surgeon to 'double-check' the position of the implanted knee replacement. While this technology has not been shown to lead to better functioning knee replacements, it is attempting to address the concerns of a misaligned implant.
Sources: "TKA Failure Risk Climbs With Each Degree of Varus" OrthopedicsToday, Vol 30, No 2. February 2010. Page 1.
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