Ancient surgical technique could have a new role in modern knee replacement

Mary's picture
Authored by Mary
Posted: Friday, July 10, 2020 - 07:54

In good news for the 100,000 patients who undergo the procedure in the UK each year, traction - a technique known to the military surgeons of Ancient Greece - could become an integral part of modern knee replacement surgery, according to a study published in the International Journal of Orthopaedics.

The study was carried out at the Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre, Plymouth, UK, by Consultant orthopaedic surgeon James Brown.

Traction has been used by a small group of knee surgeons over the past few years to set the depth of cut on the top of the leg bone (tibial plateau), but this technique has not previously been compared to standard techniques in the orthopaedic literature. Now, in a retrospective study involving 140 patients, Mr Brown has shown that traction leads to a bone-conserving depth of cut, removing only the minimal amount of bone and cartilage that is needed to implant the artificial knee.

Commenting on the study Mr Brown said: "When carrying out knee replacement surgery, surgeons prefer to avoid the excessive removal of bone to the benefit of the patient and this method does prevent this. Traction is an ancient technique that is very powerful in its effect, and is used every day in trauma theatre. This study confirms that the depth of tibial cut is reliable and reproducible when using traction. In the future, this strand of research could feed into the broader question of alignment and soft-tissue balancing in knee replacement, which is currently a controversial topic and the subject of much research".

Tags

Welcome to Devon 247, the county’s newest news, features, blog and sport platform.

This site has merged with The Plymouth Daily to offer even more of the content readers have told us they enjoy so much.

And, as with Plymouth, you can post your own content for free on D247 by clicking here.

Our focus is on positive, community news which, sadly, seems to be in short supply these days.

Thank you for visiting!

The Plymouth Daily - logo