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Knee replacement offers new lease of life to arthritic patients

Americas, Sun, 11 Jan 2009 IANS

Washington, Jan 11 (IANS) Knee replacement offers a new lease of life to arthritic and rheumatic patients by restoring knee mobility, relieving pain and physical limitations.


The study, conducted by Duke University researchers, is based on data culled from Medicare Current Beneficiary Surveys between 1992-2003, focusing on the outcomes of 259 patients who received knee replacements and 1,816 patients with osteoarthritis who didn't.



The study grouped patients according to level of functioning prior to medical treatment, therapy, and surgery and demographics, among others and used the Nagi Disability Scale, based on the performance of tasks deemed the highest level of physical functioning, such as walking and strength training.



Instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) scale gauges tasks like shopping, cooking, housework, are at the intermediate level of difficulty. Activities of daily living (ADL) scale gauges the ability to do basic level tasks, such as getting dressed or showering.



Knee replacement patients showed improvement in one basic function of self care (bathing), three intermediate tasks (light housework, heavy housework, and shopping), and two high level tasks (walking 2-3 blocks and lifting weights - at least 10 pounds).



The patients who did not receive a knee replacement continued to decline in overall physical functioning.



'Our approach is to provide the most effective and efficient options that will allow patients to return to the lifestyle and activities or their choice,' said Craig Levitz, chief of orthopaedic surgery and director of the Centre of Advanced Orthopaedics.



Whether 35, 45, 55, 65 or older, osteoarthritis of the knee is a debilitating, painful disease that can bring life to a literal standstill. Osteoarthritis affects more than 21 million individuals in the US alone, said a Duke release.



South Nassau Communities Hospital's Centre for Advanced Orthopaedics is one of very few hospitals in the US to combine minimally-invasive knee replacement with a revolutionary image guided medical technology system.



This combination simplifies total knee replacement surgery and significantly improves the short- and long-term patient benefits of the operation.



The study was published in a recent issue of Arthritis and Rheumatism


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