More than 600-thousand total knee replacements were performed in 2008. A study released this year shows that's up 134-percent since 1999. One doctor says many people could benefit from something much simpler.
Surgeon and Director of Sports Medicine of the Chicago center for Orthopedics Doctor Preston Wolin has another option for arthritic knees. It's called subchondroplasty. A device guides the doctor to the part of the bone near the joint that's causing pain. A small incision is made..and special cement is injected into the bone.
Doctor Wolin says recovery time is six weeks, compared to four to six months for a knee replacement. Wolin says the outpatient procedure can extend the life of knees by five to ten years. But it's not for everyone. It's not a substitute for a knee replacement if there's advanced arthritis." (:05)
The doctor says the bone cement used in subchondroplasty dries in about 30 minutes. If not combined with another procedure a lot of patients can walk right after the treatment