When day to day living becomes difficult because of chronic knee pain from injury or osteoarthritis, many patients turn to total knee replacement surgery for better quality of life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 719,000 total knee replacements were performed in the U.S. in 2010. While this has become a very common procedure to restore normal knee function, a new procedure, the XP ACL Preserving Knee, is now offering surgeons the ability to preserve more healthy ligaments.

Dr. Julius Oni, an orthopedic surgeon in the Einstein Healthcare Network who was the first surgeon in Philadelphia and Montgomery County to be certified to perform the XP Preserving Knee, explained to Philly.com that this new procedure gets his patients one step closer to a more natural feel to their knee movement.

Traditional knee replacement surgery, described Dr. Oni, involves damaged bone and cartilage to be removed from the thigh bone, shin bone and knee cap and replaced with an artificial joint made of metal alloys and high grade plastics and polymers. To make room for the artificial joint, the surgeon has to remove either the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) or sometimes both, even if they are healthy.

Dr. Oni said that patients who undergo the traditional surgery, while mostly pain-free, often report that the movement of their knee doesn't feel natural after surgery. He said that this may be because the removed ACL and PCL are important to maintaining normal knee biomechanics.

By allowing surgeons to preserve healthy ACL and PCL ligaments, the XP ACL Preserving Knee strives  to speed recovery and allow for more natural knee function. Dr. Oni sees it as the next frontier in knee replacement.

"The XP procedure involves the use of specialized instrumentation and minimally invasive techniques to remove the diseased cartilage and bone, and replace the knee, while maintaining the integrity of all four major ligaments of the knee."

"We need more research to determine how well this knee stacks up against traditional TKR, but so far the anecdotal results are pretty exciting," he said in a recent interview.

Not everyone is a candidate for the XP ACL Preserving Knee surgery though, so if you are interested in learning more, talk to your physician first. If you have severe knee deformities or no longer have your ACL then you might not be eligible.

Learn more about XP Preserving Knee by calling 1-800-EINSTEIN or visit here.

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