Do you have knee arthritis in young age as a result of sports or an accident in young age ? Young people too are prone to knee pain just as older individuals do. The most common causes are major accidents, open wounds. These injuries may sideline sports careers, mobility, and range of motion. More baby boomers (born between 1945 & 1965) are experiencing joint pain, lack of mobility and frozen knees caused by end-stage arthritis. This may be bad news but there is good news for you! Knee replacements with durable materials can relieve your agony
Unheard of until recently, this is now becoming a hot subject of deliberation amongst patients and orthopedic surgeons. Normally the typical patient for a knee replacement would be a patient in their golden years of life. Surprisingly now increasingly large number of young patients, plagued by end stage arthritis from various causes, are now seeking an end to their constant pain and stiffness by demanding a total knee replacement. To quote some figures, 27 percent of TKR recipients are between 18 and 64 years. This is setting a new trend in orthopedic surgery. Not surprisingly orthopedic surgeons are reluctant to offer these suffering patients, succor by means of a knee replacement. They tell their patients to put up with the pain and try to postpone a knee replacement for as long as possible.
With the advent of newer materials and designs of knee prostheses, these perceptions are about to change. The biggest advance is the availability of newer metals and plastics. Oxinium or Oxidised Zirconium has been used successfully for knee & hip implants. It is a composite metal with a coating of ceramic. In the manufacturing process, prosthetic components made of Zirconium are heated and infused with oxygen to create a ceramic surface on metal. This ceramic surface is more durable than normal metals. This material received FDA approval in 1996. After rigorous testing, this material received approval for use in knees. Life of the plastic components has also been prolonged with cross linking and irradiation. This combination of an oxinium femoral implant and cross linked plastic insert is called ‘ Verilast technology‘ Polished tibial trays reduce backside wear. Smart tools like PSI can also extend prosthetic life.
The significant advantage of Zirconium knee implants is that it is considerably harder. On testing it lasts 85 times longer in tests that simulate the stresses inside the actual knee. Additional advantages are scratch resistance. When it is wet, ceramic can glide smoothly along plastic, making for smoother motion than with metal-on-plastic. As a result, the Ceramic Oxinium total knee replacement will not generate the quantity of plastic wear debris that cobalt chrome will, and the implants should last considerably longer.
Zirconium is one of the six most biocompatible elements know to man. So, your immune system will more easily tolerate your new implant.
Lastly, patients who are allergic to nickel, the metal most often used in the current implants, cannot currently receive total knee replacements. The ceramic implant, however, can be implanted safely in patients with nickel allergy, since it contains a zirconium alloy with no nickel. Implants made of Oxinium have been implanted in larger number of patients in the UK Australia and the US with great success.
Three categories of patients have been identified as the “best” candidates for an Oxinium total knee replacement.
“Younger” patients: Because Oxinium knee implants offer significantly less wear compared to cobalt chrome implants, they are expected to last considerably longer. In the past, orthopedic surgeons have advised patients less than 65 years of age to wait to have knee replacement surgery because the life span of the cobalt chrome knee implants is only 10-15 years. Now, surgeons have a viable option for a younger patient who previously would not be a candidate for a total knee replacement because the Oxinium knee implants should last much longer. Therefore, a patient under the age of 65 who has advanced arthritis of the knee no longer has to suffer for years until he reaches an appropriate age for total knee replacement surgery.
“Active” patients: Patients, who desire to return to an active lifestyle, including sports, dancing, gardening, or other strenuous activities, may also benefit from an Oxinium knee replacement. As a result of their high activity level, this patient population will put more “wear and tear” on their knee replacement, which can cause the implants to wear more quickly. An Oxinium knee is better able to tolerate this high activity level and last longer that the traditional cobalt chrome knee.
Metal allergy patients: Because Oxinium is one of the most biocompatible materials known to man, it is the only choice for patients who exhibit metal allergies. Patients who have needed total knee replacement surgery, but could not tolerate the cobalt chrome implants due to their nickel content, can now have the surgery they need to return to an active lifestyle without the fear of an allergic reaction.
See story of a young patient who received an Oxinium knee replacement implanted through computer assisted surgery (CAS)here-
Watch a testimonial of a patient who received bilateral Journey knees here-
We are now offering Oxinium knee replacement with custom fit surgery. In this procedure, the operation is tailor made to the individual patient’s anatomy. Small incisions, less anesthesia time, trauma, bleeding and operation time are benefits to the patient. There is a small added cost for MRI scans and manufacture of patient specific cutting blocks.
So if you need a more durable knee replacement, just mail us firstname.lastname@example.org and we will give you a quick appointment.