Total Knee Prosthetics Essay

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The summer of my junior year of high school I had the opportunity to shadow a variety of medical professionals. One of these was an orthopedic surgeon, and during the time I spent watching his surgeries, I got the chance to witness two Total Knee Arthroscopies (TKAs). For my biomedical product, I chose to research a total knee prosthesis. This prosthetic has an old and very diverse history that centers mostly around the 1970s, but today has become a multibillion dollar industry with millions of patients undergoing TKA every year. The first total knee replacement was performed by Theophilus Gluck in the 1890s. He used a hinged, ivory prosthetic made from plaster of Paris and colophony. This product obviously had several defects including high infection rates, subpar metallurgy, and inadequate fixation (Ranawat). After Gluck, Dr. Waldius develop a prosthesis with an acrylic hinged in 1951, which he later changed to cobalt chrome in 1958. This prosthesis became the standard for TKAs until the 1970s. Today, this hinged design is still used for complex, primary, revision, and tumor surgery (Ranawat); however, it is not the best option for addressing arthritis of the knee. A common design that was pioneered in the 1970s was the condylar knee replacement which involves a knee resurfacing …show more content…
While the general shape and design of total knee prosthetics have remained the same, various other advancements in fields such as tissue engineering and materials engineering such as, “improved fixation with trabecular metal or with other osteoinduction agents, and wear reduction through wear-resistant polyethylene, highly cross-linked polyethylene or ceramic inserts (Ranawat). Improved designs have increased angles of flexion. Other advancements improve TKAs from the Operating Room aspect; such as more-effective anesthesia, better infection control, and computer-navigation for surgery (ie: Orthomap by

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