NIH Consensus Panel Confirms Effectiveness of Total Knee Replacement

NIH Consensus Panel Confirms Effectiveness of Total Knee Replacement

Dec. 10, 2003 -- Despite excruciating pain and decreased mobility, many people with knees damaged by arthritis put off joint-replacement surgery out of fear and uncertainty. But recently, a federal panel found that replacing a diseased joint with artificial parts quickly relieved pain and improved mobility and quality of life in 90 percent of the patients.

The 11-member panel, which the National Institutes of Health (NIH) convened, also found that the results lasted for years and that women, who could benefit most from total replacement, and minority patients did not have the surgery as often as white men.

Orthopedic surgeons at Swedish Medical Center perform hundreds of knee replacements each year, which is part of the reason why more joint replacements are performed at Swedish than at any other hospital in Washington state.

At the forefront of the knee-replacement field, the specialists at Swedish have pioneered new prosthetics and techniques to make the surgery a highly effective treatment choice. Physicians lead orthopedic treatment teams of experienced health-care professionals, following a meticulous standard of care for patients undergoing the procedure.

Patients also play a critical role in how well they recover from surgery and get back into action. The treatment team uses a special "care pathway" specifically for knee-replacement patients. This step-by-step plan details a patient's daily routine, from preadmission and surgery to inpatient recovery and outpatient rehabilitation. Every aspect of a patient's care, from anesthesia to postoperative exercise, is carefully planned and coordinated to ensure the best possible outcome.

For more information about the findings of this panel, click here.

And for more information about knee replacements at Swedish, click here.

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