SOMC Offers New Approaches In Knee Replacement

Orthopedic medicine at Southern Ohio Medical Center is taking a healthy step forward in knee replacements, with new technologies that are bringing less invasive surgery with a potentially lower risk of infection and blood loss, less anesthesia time and faster recovery time.

Orthopedic surgeons James Pettey, MD, and Gerardo Trinidad, MD, are each adopting variations in surgical technology that allow the replacement joint to be anchored in ways that more closely resemble the patient’s anatomy.

Conventional knee replacement surgery has usually meant preparing the bone using standardized cutting blocks that come in pre-determined sizes. The surgeon measures the dimensions of the ends of the thigh and leg bones and uses the closest approximate size.

New technological approaches allow for more precisely sized blocks that are specially made to match the individual patient’s anatomy.

“An MRI scan is made of the patient’s leg,” Dr. Trinidad said. “Then the manufacturer takes that scan and creates a block that is much closer to the size of the patient’s original anatomy.”

In a total knee replacement, the old joint is removed, along with any associated tissue impacted by trauma, disease such as arthritis or other conditions. The ends of the thigh and leg bones are trimmed down using the special cutting blocks and the implants are anchored to the bones with pins and special cement.

“The result is a smaller incision, less trauma to the patient, a faster procedure, lower risk of infection and faster recovery,” Dr. Trinidad said. He is currently involved in trials for a new technological procedure, one of only six hospitals nationwide offering the approach.

“The technology uses computer software to evaluate MRI images of the arthritic knee and calculate the amount of joint surface which has been lost to arthritis,” Dr. Pettey explained. “The cutting blocks are a tool the surgeon can then use to remove a specific amount of bone and thus replace the arthritic knee.”

Dr. Pettey can be reached at (740) 353-7017. Dr. Trinidad is available at (740) 351-0980.