The path to middle age has taken its toll on active baby boomers. Arthritis followed by knee replacement surgery could become the norm for many of the 78 million middle-aged Americans. Now a new technique offers hope for active years ahead.
Michael Baroli is finally back on his feet, crouching and clicking, kneeling and directing. His glamour photography business depends on his knees. "My knees are like my lifeblood," he says. "If they don't work, I don't work." But knee pain nearly put an end to his work.
Oklahoma City Orthopedic Surgeon Stephen Davenport, M.D., had a solution for Baroli -- computer-assisted knee surgery that can last up to 30 years. Standard surgery usually lasts less than 20 years.
"Instead of guessing where the mechanical axis or points of reference are, the computer tells us accurately where they are, and it's accurate to within one or two degrees," Dr. Davenport tells Ivanhoe. He says the surgery is more expensive but worth it. "I really like the accuracy component of it. I can be absolutely confident that every one of my patients has the potential to have the same exact result."
After his surgery, Baroli says he's able to work a full day and even do more physical activity. "We started riding bikes. We're back exercising. We're walking on a regular basis," he says. "The weight is coming off."
Michael says with his new knees -- and his new regime -- he plans on being able to work another 30 years.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, about 267,000 total knee replacement surgeries are performed each year in the United States. The computer-assisted surgery is now available at many major medical centers across the country.