April 03, 2007 15:20 ET

ORLive Presents: Minimally Invasive Computer Assisted Total Knee Replacement; Procedure Cuts Less or No Muscle Giving Patients the Potential for the Fastest Possible Recovery

Live Webcast: From Tampa General Hospital: April 18, 2007 at 4:00 PM EDT (20:00 UTC)

TAMPA, FL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 3, 2007 -- A minimally invasive computer assisted, total knee replacement surgery will be performed live on from Tampa General Hospital on April 18, 2007 at 4 PM EDT. The procedure involves resurfacing the ends of the bones by making a small incision through which physicians place an implant that prevents bones from rubbing against each other. Because the minimally invasive procedure cuts less or no muscle, it gives the patient the potential for the fastest possible recovery.

Kenneth Gustke, M.D., Florida Orthopaedic Institute, founding member of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons, will perform the procedure that will be narrated by Steven Lyons, M.D., a surgeon at the Florida Orthopaedic Institute.

The length of time a knee replacement remains functional is determined to a great extent by the accuracy of the leg's alignment and the positioning of the implant. The better the alignment, the longer the implants will last. Computer assisted surgery provides physicians with immediate feedback as to the alignment of the instruments in use as well as placement of the implants. It allows surgeons to make minor adjustments to accomplish a perfect alignment of the hip, knee, and ankle 98 percent of the time. Standard total knee replacement surgery only achieves perfect alignment 80 to 85 percent of the time. When accurately implanted, knee implants can potentially last 20 years, as opposed to less than 10 years for improperly aligned implants. Approximately 300,000 knee replacement surgeries are performed each year in the United States. In recent years there has been a significant trend to improve the rehabilitation after surgery and reduce patients' recovery time.

Candidates for this procedure are those suffering from severe osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or typical arthritic problems that wear away the cartilage in the knee. Ideal candidates are under the age of 65 and would benefit more from an implant lasting over 20 years. However, every patient benefits from the quicker recovery time. Very large knees may require more conventional incision lengths. Most patients spend approximately two days in the hospital and return home with a walker. Once they regain balance they are transferred to a cane until their muscles are strong enough to walk without one. Some patients' recovery times range from three to six months while others may only be two to three weeks. Patients having conventional knee replacement surgery, which involves cutting the muscle of the front thigh (quadriceps) that attaches to the kneecap, have a significantly longer recovery time.

TGH was named to U.S. News & World Report's list of America's Best Hospitals in orthopedics in 2006 & 2005. Its complex orthopedic services and orthopedic joint replacement programs have received disease-specific certification from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

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