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Knee op may help arthritis patients

Wednesday May 23rd 2012

A groundbreaking knee operation for people living with arthritis could halve recovery times, according to new reports.

Medical experts working at Southampton General Hospital claim that the new technique, known as bicompartmental knee resurfacing, bypasses the need for ligament removal by replacing only the affected areas of cartilage.

This effectively extends the working lifetime of an arthritic joint, as a full knee replacement could still be inserted if the patient required it. The operation also allows a far greater range of natural movement directly after the operation.

Commenting on the development, consultant orthopaedic surgeon Professor David Barrett said: "While total replacements, which can last for up to 20 years, have always been and remain a suitable option for people over 65, they can wear out much faster in younger, more active patients but, until recently, there was no alternative for them.

"Now, with increasing numbers of people in their 40s and 50s needing treatment, we are able to offer an alternative which extends the lifespan of their knee and allows them to make a quick return to daily and sporting activities - with the option of a total replacement further down the line if required."

Copyright Press Association 2012

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