soon a technology to replace the knee prosthesis

THE ESSENTIAL

  • Affecting almost 10 million French people today, according to Inserm, osteoarthritis is the first cause of consultations after cardiovascular diseases in developed countries. The prevalence of osteoarthritis increases with age: 65% of patients with it are over 65 years old.
  • All joints can be affected. The spine first, with 70 to 75% of people aged 65 to 75 for whom the disease affects this area. But this pathology can also affect the fingers, the knees or the hip.

Towards a small medical revolution. After ten years of research, scientists believe they have found an alternative to the knee prosthesis, which could reduce the pain associated with osteoarthritis without the drawbacks of conventional treatments. A technology of hope, unveiled by Europe 1, which could relieve the ten million French people affected by joint pain.

The knee prosthesis, too heavy a surgery

As a reminder, osteoarthritis, also called rheumatism, is a chronic joint disease that mainly affects the cartilage, the tissue that covers the ends of the bones in a joint. It can occur at any age, but the risk increases as you get older. The knee, the most stressed body joint, is particularly affected by pain from wear and tear when walking, climbing stairs, etc.

Until now, osteoarthritis of the knee can only be treated with conventional painkillers and sometimes injections to “oil” the joint, in order to improve the daily living conditions of patients. Ultimate solution, which is therefore only recommended as a last resort, when the pain is too strong: surgery, during which the joint is replaced, totally or partially, by a prosthesis. It is an irreversible, very heavy procedure, under general anesthesia, which requires long rehabilitation sessions.

A piston that cushions the joint suffering from osteoarthritis

An alternative to the prosthesis could change the game. As explained by Europe 1, which does not specify who is behind the device, “it’s a piston that will dampen the joint, like on cars”. Concretely, it is a kind of“shock absorber which is placed on each side of the knee, between the end of the thigh bone and the tibia, by making a small incision of 3-4 cm on an outpatient basis”, that is, the patient can go home right after the operation.

Once fixed, the piston will thus dampen and absorb all the pressure put on the joint, which will relieve or even completely eliminate the pain. The big advantage of this futuristic treatment is that the operation “does not touch bones, ligaments or cartilage”recalls journalist Anicet Mbida.

Not yet marketed, this new technology has just been validated, after ten years of research, by a vast clinical study intended “check the efficiency and make sure that the shock absorber resists over time, that there is no rejection”. It should therefore soon begin to be integrated into therapies.


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