Medical House Call: Knee replacement surgery

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - It's not uncommon to know of someone who needs a knee replacement or of someone who's had the surgery.

The average age of knee replacement surgery is 75.

However, there is a new technology available  in the Pine Belt that caters to a younger group.

Individuals in their 50s, 40s, even younger needing their knee replaced but leaving the ligaments intact. here's more now in today's medical housecall.

"Technology that is now available to save all the ligaments within the knee is pretty special," said Ross Ward."It's just something that we haven't had available to us ever."

An animation from biomet incorporated details the two instruments that makeup the vanguard xp knee replacement.

"Now we have a way to just replace the arthritic part of the knee joint without sacrificing the ligaments that make it feel more normal."

So far, Ward of Southern Bone and Joint in Hattiesburg is only one of two surgeons in the state and one of only 30 in the country who have been trained  to perform this vanguard xp replacement.

"300 have been implanted in the united states all during the experimental phase of treatment," said Ward.

Ward said there is a growing subset of patients that are in their 40s and 50s needing knee replacements, and are ideal candidates for this procedure.

"The ideal patient is one who is more active than the normal patient," said Ross

The surgery takes about an hour and in 6 months Ward said the patient is back to 100 percent.

"Typically people feel better than they did before surgery after about three weeks. At six weeks they are about 75 percent, three months at about 90 percent, and 6 months to get that last ten percent," said Ward

Ward said he does about 400 traditional knee replacements a year, and that there is a 75 percent chance that it will last 30 years. With today's modern technology he thinks that percent will be much higher.

The chance of a patient needing a second surgery after the vanguard xp replacement is much lower than the traditional replacement.