Implant May Soon Take Over for Knee Replacement Surgeries
With the baby boomers, more people are living longer and they are more active, which also means there's more injuries.
"I had a lot of trouble getting in and out of the trucks. I was on the sidelines," said Tracy Cullum.
Cullum, a volunteer firefighter loved her job, but she was put off duty eight years when she got injured.
"I lifted, pivoted too quickly and felt an intense pain and I couldn't bend my right leg away," said Cullum.
It was a tear to her meniscus that halted Tracy's physical activity, a common injury caused by certain sudden movements.
"It's more common in pivoting sports and jumping sports," said Dr. Richard Alfred.
Tracy has had surgery to repair her torn meniscus. Alfred, an orthopedic surgeon, says it's not uncommon for arthritis to ultimately to develop after an injury like Tracy.
"I started to feel pain again, I had some swelling and weakness," said Cullum.
It wouldn't be unusual for someone like Tracy to ultimately need knee replacement surgery, but now there may be another option - an implant.
"It's a silicone implant and it is bendable and pops in the joint we do not suture it in the joint, the design of the implant is such that contours to the actual contours of the knee and stays put," said Alfred.
The device is in the experimental phase. It acts as a cushion, protecting the surface of the cartilage from more wear and tear. It's been about three months since Tracy's had the device.
"I have started again being a fighter on light duty and I am looking forward to get back into that full force," said Cullum.
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