by Dr.Patrick Dixon, conference speaker and futurist
The need for hip, knee and other joint replacement is a growing need with the aging population of many developed countries. The largest markets are in Japan, the US and parts of Europe.
However, new treatments and methods are being develped to replace the plastic and metal joints which tend to wear out, need revision and cause complications such as infection and dislocation. It is important, for example, to preserve the neck of the femur, which can become unstable if the replacement has to be redone over time.
Researchers have been using adult stem cells to grow new joint surfaces. Using this method they intend to grow new cartilage with which to repair knee, hip and shoulder joints.
The future looks bright for future patients needing replacements. These new joints will mean that chronic pain, disability, and lack of mobility will be replaced by improved mobility, function and range of movement, well into old age.
The Future of Hip Surgery, featuring Dr. Sculco (ArthritisMD)
"20 to 25 years from today, rather than put and implant in, we'll be able to resurface the joint biologically." Doctor Thomas P. Sculco, Surgeon-in-Chief at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, speculates on the future of hip replacement surgery and notes how hopefully surgery won't even be required soon.
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