Technology improves joint-replacement surgery

Jasmine Phu

July 26, 2011

Osteoarthritis, the most common joint disorder, is mainly associated with old age, and nearly everyone has at least some symptoms of the disease by the time they are 70 years old, according to the National Institutes of Health. The degenerative disease is caused by the breakdown of cartilage, which protects bones from rubbing together at the joints.

"Baby boomers are getting to the age where their joints are wearing out," Dr. Marc Volpe, an orthopedic surgeon in Lakeland, Florida told The Ledger. "As opposed to previous generation…they want to maintain a level of function that's higher than their predecessors at older ages."

People who suffer from osteoarthritis may experience pain, swelling and stiffness in their joints, which can lead to decreased mobility and increase the risk of falls and other injuries. A senior medical alert can protect older adults by contacting help if they are hurt and cannot reach a phone.

Many aging individuals who suffer from the disorder opt for joint replacement surgeries, such as hip or partial knee replacement. Advances in technology are improving these procedures and the post-surgery process. Computer-guided surgery allows surgeons to perform operations more accurately, and they are able to see results instantly – rather than waiting for post-surgery X-rays.

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