Millions of Americans suffer pain caused by joints that are worn out from years of wear and tear. When the pain gets too bad, a knee replacement is your only option. Mayo Clinic doctors are working to make these operations better. They're using high-tech computers that will likely help your new knee last longer.
The technology is still too new to see how patients do long term, but here's how it works: during surgery, Dr. O'Connor attaches markers to the knee. Next, she uses a probe to draw the contours of the joint. The computer takes that information and makes a model of the knee. The model shows doctors where to place the joint to get the best fit.
Computer-assisted knee replacement is just one of several new technologies doctors are using to make knee replacements better. Other developments include new materials and pain management. For more information on knee replacement, log on to www.medicaledge.org.