New Procedure for Knee Replacement Leads to Better Range of Motion

The problem with many of the total knee replacement surgeries performed today is that they usually involve the cutting of one or both of the ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) or PCL (Posterior Cruciate Ligament)—two of the four ligaments responsible for the way a “natural” knee flexes and rolls when it comes to walking, running, climbing stairs or other such activities. Thanks to a relatively new procedure using the Smith & Nephew JOURNEY II XR total knee arthroplasty, total knee replacement surgery can now be conducted without disturbing either of the cruciate ligaments in the middle of the knee joint.

The result? An innovative treatment option for arthritic patients who have intact and well-functioning cruciate ligaments. The retention of the cruciate ligaments during the replacement surgery may provide patients with a more normal feel and stability throughout all ranges of motion and may lead to a smoother recovery, improved knee function and better overall patient satisfaction.

“From the studies that are out there right now, we’re seeing a 10–15 percent dissatisfaction rate from patients after knee replacement surgery, which means people are not fully satisfied with their new knee,” says Dr. John Aldridge, an orthopaedic surgeon with Hampton Roads Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in Newport News. “If you look further into those studies at questions like, ‘How natural does your new knee feel when you walk?’ up to 30 percent of respondents said the new knee doesn’t feel like their normal knee. With the new XR knee replacement, you’re saving all of the knee ligaments and you’re creating a joint line and shape of the joint so when the knee moves, it moves much more naturally. It feels much more like their native knee.”

With the new procedure, an “island of bone” is retained that keeps the ACL and PCL attached. Using special instruments, the island is then fitted to a metal cap on the tibia (also known as the shinbone—the larger of the two bones in the leg below the knee that connects the knee to the ankle), and a second cap is placed on the femur (upper leg bone) to complete the procedure.

“The knee is very complex in its range of motions,” says Dr. Anthony Carter, another orthopaedic surgeon with Hampton Roads Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. “People think of it as a large hinge, but it’s so much more. It flexes, rotates and glides all at the same time. So when you do a knee replacement, typically you alter the mechanics of the knee when you have to sacrifice one or both of the ligaments within the knee. With this new procedure, patients will presumably have better function and the knee will feel more ‘normal’ and natural.”

Both doctors agree that the real proof in how effective the new procedure will be is to measure patient satisfaction in the long run. “The early gains we’ve seen are not the primary goal of this implant,” says Aldridge. “It’s the long-term satisfaction and the long-term kinematics or movement of the knee.”

Coastal Virginia Magazine
* Website * + posts and articles

Offering up stellar editorial and photography on a range of feature topics from personal and business profiles to the region's cuisine and style scene, Coastal Virginia Magazine provides an in-depth glimpse into what's happening in the region. Each issue offers up something new, from the annual Top Docs feature to Best Of CoVa Readers' Choice Awards, while still always providing insight from the regular columnists and news on the latest local events in the Datebook section.

Share This Article:


Related Articles

Beloved Norfolk video store’s massive and historic collection of films on DVD, Blu-ray and VHS now available to the public...

Half-Shell Education: The Hatchery waterside eatery on Gwynn’s Island marries dining and aquaculture tours By Mary Scott Hardaway A two-lane...

Get Lost VB brings island flavors and a unique treat to the Oceanfront As the weather across Coastal Virginia heats...

If you’re looking to stock up your freezer, here are five local, family-owned butcher shops in Coastal Virginia to check...

At Eastern Shore Decoy Show in Cape Charles, collectors and enthusiasts bring their passion for the region’s rich carving heritage...

It’s All in Arlington, Virginia! Sponsored Content We can’t wait to meet you! So, hop on a train or jump...

Special Deal!
Events Calendar

Temporary Maintenance scheduled

Hey Coastal Virginia!
Just a heads up: we’re giving our servers a little TLC this Thursday, May 2, starting at 4:00 PM. While you’re avoiding the 44% chance of rain out there, our website might take a quick siesta. We’ll make sure it’s awake as soon as possible!