Knee replacements are expected to skyrocket from a half-million a year to 3-and-a-half million by 2030.
Now a surgeon has created a way for knee replacement patients to go home the same day and heal faster.
Lana Martin has had both knees replaced because she has rheumatoid arthritis, and auto immune disease that attacks her joints.
"It's a struggle every day," said Martin.
Ben Head also struggled from an old motorcycle injury and before his knew replacement it was bone on bone.
"Just constant grinding, grinding, grinding, it was bad. I mean there was some days I felt like falling to the ground from the pain," said Head.
But Martin and Head were the first patients to have the "rapid recovery" knee replacement. It was developed by LSU Health Sciences Center Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Vinod Dasa and his team.
So far, 20 patients have left the hospital walking the same day after surgery and with physical therapy beginning the next day, they are walking unassisted in around six weeks rather than it taking the usual 3 to 4 months.
Patients are in the operating room for an hour or so, just sedated and along with computer assistance, Dr. Dasa's incisions and techniques mean less blood loss, trauma and post operation pain and stiffness.
"So we don't have to block the nerves that the muscle we can simply block the nerves that control the pain. But now we can get them moving much earlier because they are pain free, everything heals much better," said Dr. Dasa.
"I'm up cooking and they told me you won't be able to cook," said Martin.
"If I had to do it again, I would have done it sooner," said Head.
But it's not all good. Orthopedic surgeons trained in joint replacements are projected to only be able to handle 30 percent of the cases.
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