Patients at risk of knee joint complications when new technology is used

December 14, 2011

Orthopaedic surgeons face a steep learning curve to get used to new prostheses, and the instruments and methods that go with them, before new total knee replacement procedures are as safe and effective as conventional methods. Patients who undergo the first 15 operations using a new device in a hospital are 48 percent more likely to need early revision surgery, than patients undergoing an operation to fit a prosthesis previously used in the hospital. The work by Mikko Peltola from the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Finland, and colleagues, is published online in Springer's journal, Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research.

Total knee arthroplasty, or replacement, is an established treatment for patients with severe osteoarthritis of the knee. There are numerous brands and models of endoprostheses (a prosthesis used internally) available and new models continue to emerge as a result of a combination of new technology, marketing efforts and the increasing number of patients requiring the surgery.

Hospital staff makes important decisions when choosing the implants and instruments they use, and these decisions carry consequences for patients' health. According to the research team, however, new equipment and techniques are often used in clinical practice, occasionally without evidence of effectiveness and safety.

Peltola and team looked at the risk of early revision surgery following the introduction of a new endoprosthesis model for total knee arthroplasty. They studied data from the Finnish Arthroplasty Register to identify centers that had performed total knee replacement operations for primary osteoarthritis between 1998 and 2004. Of the 23,707 total number of patients who underwent the surgical procedure, 22,551 were followed up for five years.

The researchers found that the introduction of an endoprosthesis model in a hospital put the first patients at greater risk of revision surgery. The effect was substantial for the first 15 patients operated on with the new model, who were at 48 percent greater risk than patients having undergone an operation to implant a conventional endoprosthesis. Overall, the likelihood of needing revision surgery was greatest during the first two years after the surgery. The learning curve smoothed quickly, however, with no increased risk after the first 15 operations with the new model.

The authors conclude: "Patients should be informed if there is a plan to introduce a new model and offered the option to choose a conventional endoprosthesis instead. Although introducing potentially better endoprosthesis models is important, there is a need for managed uptake of new technology."
-end-
Reference
Peltola M et al (2011). Introducing a knee endoprosthesis model increases risk of early revision surgery. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research.DOI 10.1007/s11999-011-2171-9

The full-text article is available to journalists on request.

Springer

Related Technology Articles from Brightsurf:

December issue SLAS Technology features 'advances in technology to address COVID-19'
The December issue of SLAS Technology is a special collection featuring the cover article, ''Advances in Technology to Address COVID-19'' by editors Edward Kai-Hua Chow, Ph.D., (National University of Singapore), Pak Kin Wong, Ph.D., (The Pennsylvania State University, PA, USA) and Xianting Ding, Ph.D., (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China).

October issue SLAS Technology now available
The October issue of SLAS Technology features the cover article, 'Role of Digital Microfl-uidics in Enabling Access to Laboratory Automation and Making Biology Programmable' by Varun B.

Robot technology for everyone or only for the average person?
Robot technology is being used more and more in health rehabilitation and in working life.

Novel biomarker technology for cancer diagnostics
A new way of identifying cancer biomarkers has been developed by researchers at Lund University in Sweden.

Technology innovation for neurology
TU Graz researcher Francesco Greco has developed ultra-light tattoo electrodes that are hardly noticeable on the skin and make long-term measurements of brain activity cheaper and easier.

April's SLAS Technology is now available
April's Edition of SLAS Technology Features Cover Article, 'CURATE.AI: Optimizing Personalized Medicine with Artificial Intelligence'.

Technology in higher education: learning with it instead of from it
Technology has shifted the way that professors teach students in higher education.

Post-lithium technology
Next-generation batteries will probably see the replacement of lithium ions by more abundant and environmentally benign alkali metal or multivalent ions.

Rethinking the role of technology in the classroom
Introducing tablets and laptops to the classroom has certain educational virtues, according to Annahita Ball, an assistant professor in the University at Buffalo School of Social Work, but her research suggests that tech has its limitations as well.

The science and technology of FAST
The Five hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), located in a radio quiet zone, with the targets (e.g., radio pulsars and neutron stars, galactic and extragalactic 21-cm HI emission).

Read More: Technology News and Technology Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.