Saturday, January 28, 2017

Behind the “knee replacement industry”

If you live in a ski town, you know scores of people that have had their knee repaired, replaced, or are scheduled to go under the knife. This for sure wasn't the case 25 or even 15 years ago and begs the question, why?

For one thing, today's skiers have hit the slopes more than their fair share with the advent of high-speed lifts in the mid 80's. In addition, better, shorter skis, good instruction that let most of them access bumps, steep terrain and considerably more mileage and vertical that amplified all kinds of bodily impact.

Add to this the popular practice of an array of other sports that weren't always gentle on joints and you get a recipe for destruction. In the same time, prosthesis technology and surgical techniques have improved by leaps and bounds and have allowed for replacing almost any joint.

Today, after enjoying too much of a good thing, these skiers' “original equipment” is showing signs of wear and tear and needs to be replaced. As all of the above keeps on accelerating, expect joint replacements to become routine and part and parcel of a skier's life.

This said, I still won't go skiing today and nurse my natural, ailing knee a little bit longer...

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