The Invaluable Work Undertaken by Specialised Knee Surgeons in Pretoria

Feb 23, 2018 | Articles

The Invaluable Work Undertaken by Specialised Knee Surgeons in Pretoria

When standing up from a sitting position, walking, running, or picking up heavy weights in the manner recommended, few people will be motivated to pause and think of just how important the ability of the knee is to bend smoothly and repeatedly in enabling such actions. Only when pain and perhaps eventual impairment of their mobility drives them to visit one of the orthopaedic surgeons in Pretoria, Potchefstroom, or Polokwane, is the average individual likely to become fully aware of the important role played by these exceptionally hardworking joints.

A reasonable amount of hard work, or rather the lack of it, may well be one of the main causes of the eventual failure by joints to move smoothly. In practice, moderate exercise has been shown to be beneficial in maintaining the health of most of the body’s joints, and even as a means to reverse minor damage to them. Despite this, the number of patients found to be in need of a partial or total knee replacement when seen by specialist surgeons in Pretoria and in other parts of South Africa has increased significantly in recent years.

There has been extensive progress in the field of orthopaedics. Earlier, this specialism was once restricted to the correction of spinal deformities in children and the treatment of fractures, dislocations, and sprains by simple physical means. Today, it has become a discipline of medicine in which around half of these specialists’ time is now likely to be spent in operating theatres pursuing the tasks of shoulder, hip, and knee surgeons in the hospitals of Pretoria and other South African cities.

Both successive breakthroughs in surgical techniques and the development of a number of new materials have been instrumental in the growth of this discipline and in particular, its role in the replacement of the damaged components of joints with artificial ones. Both the procedures and the materials employed have improved immeasurably since the earliest efforts to fit a prosthetic joint. Today, knee surgeons with the skill and experience of those at Life Wilgers Hospital near Pretoria can be confident in assuring their patients of a return to pain-free mobility that should last for at least ten years. In fact, in some cases, these prostheses have been known to endure for as much as twice as long before it becomes necessary to consider further intervention.

Not all interventions will require the replacement of a joint, and the use of a technique known as arthroscopy has made it possible for the specialist to determine far more precisely the nature and extent of damage to a joint than when relying on X-ray images alone. Furthermore, the technique allows shoulder, hip, and knee surgeons in Pretoria and worldwide to proceed directly with a repair at the time of the diagnostic procedure, rather than scheduling the surgery for later. An illuminated scope relays live images of the joint and surrounding tissues via a fibre optic cable to a TV monitor, which the surgeon can then use to assess the damage and control the movement of surgical instruments inserted via additional keyhole incisions.

The technique has been used successfully as a means with which to perform partial replacement procedures but, for a total joint replacement, it is necessary to completely expose the structure of the joint. Naturally, in such cases, the patient will require a significantly longer period to complete his or her recovery than when undergoing arthroscopic surgery,

Typically, the knee surgeons at the Life Wilgers Hospital in the Pretoria suburb of the same name are skilled and experienced in both the arthroscopic and more radical procedures used for joint repair and replacement. In fact, this specialist orthopaedic team has gained widespread recognition for its exceptional performance in this increasingly important field. As long as human beings continue to rely upon healthy joints for locomotion and to perform other physical tasks, their efforts will continue to take their toll, whether the result of physical injuries or a disease.

To help them overcome these infirmities, accomplished knee surgeons in Pretoria will continue to provide the surgery that will ensure that they are free of pain and able to be mobile.