Knees are like the tires on a car.
You need them to get where you're going. They withstand the most wear and tear each day. You want them to last as long as possible. When they start wearing out, you can feel the difference. And if they aren't replaced the right way, they can wear out again.
Comparing the first cars, to now, the concept has never changed. They have many of the same parts, arranged in the same way, all achieving the same goal. It is the same with knee replacement surgery. The purpose and the concept have never really changed. What has changed is the quality of the parts. Cars today are lighter, faster, more durable, etc. Likewise, knee prosthesis are made to fit better, are lighter and stronger. The technology used to perform the surgery is more accurate and helps with each individual case. The surgeon is able to replace the knee with fewer incisions and less tissue damage.
According to Dr. Allen Van, all of these things make the process easier and the recovery faster, but at the end of the day, the surgery is only as good as the surgeon. Ultimately, it is the surgeon who chooses where to make an incision. It is the surgeon who decides if someone should undergo surgery at all. All of the technology is an added bonus, an extra layer of quality if the surgeon uses it correctly.
On the latest episode of the Perry Health Pulse podcast, Dr. Van discusses what knee replacement surgery means today, and at what point someone should start talking with an orthopedic surgeon.