Knee Shopping

Posted by The Evidence Blog on April 24, 2012

Total knee replacement is a popular and reliable surgical treatment for painful, arthritic knees. As the number of knee replacements in the United States rises—as the population increases and ages—the variety of available implants is growing. Currently at least 15 manufacturers market 30 to 40 different models of knee implants. However, according to researchers in the Lancet, evidence of clinical and cost effectiveness is often lacking.

One of the most common reasons knee replacements fail is implant wear, which can lead to loosening and instability of the implant. To address this issue, some knee joint manufacturers have introduced new materials that may be more resistant to wear and lead to longer implant life.

We recently completed a brief health technology assessment on Oxinium knees (Smith & Nephew, Memphis, TE), manufactured with a wear-resistant oxidized zirconium alloy. We examined effectiveness, long-term safety, and how these implants compare with traditional cobalt-chromium knee implants.

Our research indicates that in patients with severe osteoarthritis this new type of knee improves movement and reduces pain levels, without health concerns. However, long-term findings of safety and functionality are not yet available. Moreover, compared with traditional knee implants the Oxinium knee implants don’t appear to be any better in terms of clinical and radiographic outcomes.

Hayes clients can access this report, along with the Hayes Rating applied to this technology, through our Knowledge Center. If you are not a Hayes client, but would like to purchase a single copy of this report, please contact us.

Topics: Health Technologies, Hayes Blog

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