Which Brand Knee Replacement is Best for My Knee
There are many companies that make replacement parts for knees. Each company does this with a goal of selling these parts to hospitals whose surgeons use them during surgery. Patients often ask ‘which brand do you use doctor?” This is a reasonable question for the patient to understand the choices a surgeon makes in replacing a knee joint. The hard part for patients, however, is that much of what people find on the internet is marketing by the manufacturing companies to convince patients that their brand is the best, and you should find a surgeon that uses it.
Why do surgeons pick one brand over another?
There area many factors that go in to choice of implant for knee replacement surgery. As Orthopedics is learned essentially as an apprenticeship, many surgeons stick with what they know best – each of us trained with mentors that had a favorite choice, and we may continue to use it long into the future because we understand its parts and how it is best place in a patient. Many hospitals have only a limited number of options for its customers – the doctors and patients – and surgeons must choose one of the available choices. Hospitals make these decisions based on surgeon preference and price as the cost of the implant usually falls on the hospital. An expensive implant may not make it on a hospital choice list. In theory, such ch￼oices are made with surgeon input.
Is one brand better ?
In my opinion, there are many excellent choices for patients today. Each company may encourage use of their parts for one reason or another but most designs today are based on time-tested designs that have been in use for over 30 years. It’s good to know there is 30 years of data on these designs and the likely rates of failure or complications are well known today.
What really matters in implant choice
The most important factor is your surgeon. Choosing an experienced surgeon makes all the difference. Any implant can be put in incorrectly and you can have trouble. Conversely, any implant can be done just right and you will have a great result! Its the surgeon making the decisions in the operating room that is most important, not the particular name brand he or she has chosen to use.
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Its more than just the knee implants
The design of knee replacements today is based on years of experience and precise engineering. There is usually a philosophical basis to the designs. Each one comes with an entire system of tools to measure and trim bone accurately. As a surgeon, we become experts in the particular tools for the system we use the most, as does our technicians and nurses in the OR. There may be as many as 100 different tools, or instruments, used to complete a knee replacement
Should my surgeon use the brand I want ?
The common denominator in knee surgery is your knee. With some variation, the anatomy of the human knee is within a range of constancy. Asking your surgeon to use a different knee replacement than they are used to using is like asking me to fix my car in YOUR garage. I can get the job done, but I don’t know where your tools are, and the tools might be a little different. While the end result is the same, it might take me longer, or be a little unfamiliar. This is the last thing you want.
What should you do now ?
Most importantly, find an experienced surgeon you trust. Listen to him or her as to why a particular knee is used. Bring your questions to your appointment and be sure to leave with answers that make sense. Express your concerns to your surgeon and listen carefully to the answers !
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