Health Cast: New Approach to Knee Surgery


More than 700-thousand Americans have knee replacement surgery every year to eliminate chronic pain from worn out joints, and doctors say that number will skyrocket over the next decade. Now, as Deron Molen shows us in tonight’s Health Cast a new two-pronged approach is helping patients get back on their feet faster than ever before.

Fifty-six year old Judy Tacktill started struggling to get around almost seven years ago.

“As you’re walking, you’re scraping. Bone on bone. Very, very painful,” Judy Tacktill.

Judy had one knee replaced. At that time, traditional knee replacement meant inpatient physical therapy and a long recovery. So when Judy’s other knee started to wear out recently, she was anxious to find a better way. Doctor Nakul Karkare is an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in hips and new knees. Doctor Karkare pre-plans surgery using three-dimensional imaging of a patient’s knee. Then during surgery he uses specialized tools, or jigs.

“The advantage of using these jigs is that these jigs are customized specifically for the patient,” Nakul Karkare, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon.

Surgeons make very precise cuts to remove the diseased part of the bone and then insert the artificial joint.

“It is also less invasive because we do a lot less cutting and drilling into the bone, and i think that translates into better rehabilitation,” Nakul Karkare, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon.

Judy was on her feet shortly after surgery and home a day later. Six weeks post-surgery, Judy uses a cane only when walking outside on uneven ground. She’s looking forward to leaving that behind sometime very soon. Deron Molen, KFDX 3 News

Doctor Karkare  tells patients to expect their new knees to feel great after about twelve weeks of physical therapy.  Even with the less invasive, customized procedure, Doctor Karkare says recovery from knee surgery still takes longer than hip replacement. For more information go to

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.