a doctor holding a patient

Looking Forward Joint Replacement 2024

After working as a joint replacement surgeon for almost 40 years and then stopping on 1/1/2024, the adjustment to retirement gives an opportunity to reflect upon the path we have traveled and the road ahead for joint replacement. When I started this journey in the mid-1980s, hip and knee replacements typically would last 10 years in younger more active individuals. Because of the limitations in longevity and activity we were quite conservative with our indications for joint replacement. Fast forward to 2024 and hip and knee replacements have an excellent chance of lasting 25 years or more. With the evolution of surgical techniques, implants, the introduction of digital technology, and robotics the outcomes and return to activity have improved dramatically. It is not unusual for patients to return to high impact sports such as skiing, mountain climbing, mountain biking and other previously challenging activities for joint replacement patients.

Some of the most significant advancements in the 21st century include the introduction of highly cross-linked polyethylene for hip and knee replacement bearing surfaces, the evolution of alignment philosophy for total knee replacement, the use of digital technology, and the introduction of robotics to more accurately execute the surgical techniques. This has not been a revolutionary set of changes but an evolutionary improvement in materials, techniques, and approach to the field of hip and knee replacement.

At Proliance Orthopedic Associates we have 4 surgeons who perform hip and knee replacement surgery and 2 who specialize in shoulder replacement surgery. With the new Proliance Surgery Center at Valley, the majority of these procedures can be done in an outpatient setting. The future for joint replacement looks bright and excellent results are possible.