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Surgeons perform pioneering knee operation at Southampton General Hospital

SURGEONS in Southampton have become the first in the UK to perform a pioneering knee operation that halves a patient’s recovery time.

The technique, known as bicompartmental knee resurfacing, allows doctors to repair damaged knees without the need for a total knee replacement.

It involves replacing only areas of cartilage that are affected by arthritis and avoids the removal of the ligaments – enabling more natural movement immediately after surgery.

The procedure, which is performed under general anaesthetic and takes about an hour, sees patients leave hospital after three days – less than half the time it takes after total replacement – without crutches, which would be required for up to six weeks following full surgery.

Professor David Barrett, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Southampton General Hospital, was the first in the country to perform the procedure and said that early intervention gave patients a chance to extend the lifespan of their knee.

He said: “While total replacements, which can last for up to 20 years, have always been and remain a suitable option for people over 65, they can wear out much faster in younger, more active patients but, until recently, there was no alternative for them.

“Now, with increasing numbers of people in their 40s and 50s needing treatment, we are able to offer an alternative which extends the lifespan of their knee and allows them to make a quick return to daily and sporting activities.”

By: Melanie Adams, Southern Daily Echo

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