In the past, knee replacement would become more difficult and less effective with repeated replacement, so patients would delay the procedure. But now, technology is make the process less invasive and longer lasting, according to Black. "The way the plastic part of the knee is made, it's a different process that makes the plastic wear less."
Metal parts also last longer, extending the artificial knee's life from 20 years before to more than 30 in most cases. The actual surgery has also improved. Said Black, "The instruments we use to put in the knee are custom made for the patient and what happens is the patient has an MRI of their knee and an Xray of the leg and that goes to the manufacturing company. And they make a digital model of the patient's knee and actually design the cutting blocks we use to put the knee in specifically for the patient." Meaning less time in surgery and less to to recover.