In Birmingham, Alabama, Trinity Medical Center has an orthopedic surgeon that plans to re-write the way knee replacements are perform. There is already a lot of talk going around about how this new advance in technology will totally revolutionize the procedure.
Ranked number 14 for the most impatient and common procedure of 2009, there are more than 4.5 million people in America with a total knee replacement. The orthopedic surgeon from Trinity Medical Center, Dr. Appell has had approximately 2,000 knee replacements performed in his career. And, he is one of only 75 surgeons that are being trained for the new procedure, while being the first for Alabama.
The technology was created by Biomet, a bio-medical company. The technology is called Vanguard XP Total Knee System. One reason it is necessary that doctors follow this new process of replacing knees is that the traditional process required that the ACL be removed. Even being in good shape, it was necessary to remove the ACL. The ACL is a ligament that is located deep within the knee and is connected to the thigh bone (Femur), larger bones located below the knee (Tibia), and in the back of the kneecap (Patella). It is responsible for the integrity and stability of your knee.
The traditional procedure removed the ACL, because the process involved inserting a flat, large plate that rested upon the Tibia, at the same point that these two ligaments were connected. For the most part, patients were happy with the procedure. Although it brought pain relief and some range in motion, the feeling was never entirely natural. There remained that constant reminder to the patient that they had their knee replaced, because of the ACL being removed. The ACL is one of the most important ligaments, when it involves the function of the knee, so it is necessary to utilize this new technology.