Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA, or Replacement) is a highly successful and popular operation for treatment of the painful knee, achieving reliable and durable relief for the great majority of patients. However, some patients continue to feel uncomfortable, even with an apparently well-aligned joint. It seems that even minor departures from a patient’s “natural” alignment, with soft tissues that are too tight or too loose, will produce the feeling of an uncomfortable joint.
This, very reasonably, prompts the question from patients:
How will you ensure my knee is balanced and confortable?
Until now, getting the balance of ligaments right has been a matter of "feel" and visual estimation. A new device has become available that allows the surgeon to quantitatively measure pressures generated in the replaced joint in real time, allowing fine adjustments to be made during the operation.
The device is called the Verasense® It is a plastic bearing surface incorporating micro-electronic pressure sensors (pictured overleaf) which is placed between the metal components of the knee replacement during the trial phase. It transmits data wirelessly to a receiver which generates a visual display for the surgeon indicating pressures within the joint throughout the full range of movement allowing adjustments to be made before the final prosthesis is implanted.
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