Press Release

Computer-Assisted Knee Replacement

Press Release 2.20.2003

Good News for the North State - Latest Advances in Orthopaedic Care Happening Close to Home

There is good news for the many residents of Northern California who will need orthopaedic care in their lifetime: some of the latest techniques in orthopaedic treatment are being pioneered in Redding, California.

In the past, there has been misperception that patients have to travel to major cities more than 2 hours away to receive quality care. The truth is some of the latest techniques are being pioneered and practiced right here in the North State at Shasta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. A testament to their commitment and expertise in orthopaedic advances is that 4 of the 6 physicians at Shasta Orthopaedics are actively working with orthopaedic medical equipment manufacturers to develop new technologies in orthopaedics.

With offices in Redding and Red Bluff, Shasta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine has provided orthopaedic care to the North State since 1993. In the past few years, specialists at Shasta Orthopaedics have set a standard of being among the first in the country to practice new techniques in orthopaedic care:

Meniscal Allografts
Repairing the "Shock Absorber of the Knee"

This technique was only developed in the last 8 years. Dr. Paul Schwartz of Shasta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine was the first to perform the procedure in Redding about 6 years ago and has performed over 30. Dr. Schwartz estimates 20-30% of orthopaedists across the United States currently perform this procedure. Damage to the meniscal cartilage of knee joints is a common injury in today's active population. In cases where the entire meniscus has been removed, post-traumatic arthritis may develop because of abnormal stress and wear to the cartilage of the knee. Until recently, orthopaedic surgeons had very limited options for such patients, and often the arthritis gradually worsens until a joint replacement is necessary. Today, however, the absent meniscus can be replaced with a cadaver-donated allograft meniscus, and the advancement of the arthritis can potentially be arrested, or at least slowed, to delay or prevent the need for joint replacement.

Computer-Assisted Knee Replacement

Using Computer Technology to Strive for Precision in Alignment On April 10th, 2002, 3 surgeons: Brian Edkin, MD, John Lange, MD, and Paul Schwartz, MD of Shasta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine successfully performed the first 3 knee replacements in North America using new computer-assisted technology. The surgeons used new computer-assisted imaging software technology developed by Smith & Nephew's Orthopaedics division based in Memphis, Tenn. The software operates highly accurate cameras to track the movement of bones and instrumentation during surgery: a clinical advancement aimed at achieving more accurate alignment of the knee joint in patients who undergo knee replacement operations.