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By: Albert Mu-Hong Tsai, M.D., orthopedic surgeon, MemorialCare Joint Replacement Center at Long Beach Medical Center

Today, joint replacements are commonplace. In fact, more than 4.5 million Americans are living with at least one total knee replacement. This is partly because over the years, joint replacement techniques and instrumentation have undergone countless improvements.

During a joint replacement procedure, the damaged portions of the joint are removed and replaced with prosthetic components. Traditionally, implants are held in place with bone cement, but with advances in technology, knee implants no longer require to be cemented into place. This procedure is called cementless joint replacement.

Cemented joint implants use fast-drying bone cement to help keep the implants in place. A cementless joint implant, or press-fit, is specifically textured to allow the bone to grow into the implant and adhere to it over time.

A benefit of press-fits is it reduces the likelihood of needing a revision surgery, because there is no cement used, which breaks down over time. With cemented knee replacements, a breakdown of cement can cause the artificial joint to come loose, which could require revision surgery.

In addition, a cementless joint replacement requires patients to have healthy bones and therefore encourages bone growth. Since the bone grows into the implant, it eliminates the number of gaps between the bone and the implant.

However, those with severe osteoporosis should continue with cemented implants. The bone cement allows a surgeon to affix joint components to a more porous bone. This is why patients shouldn’t delay their care and get a joint replacement before all their healthy bone is gone.

The MemorialCare Joint Replacement Center at Long Beach Medical Center offers joint replacement surgery for patients looking for more permanent solutions to chronic pain that affects their quality of life. Long Beach Medical Center is a regional leader in surgical outcomes, while keeping the patient experience at the forefront of their recovery. Healthgrades recognized Long Beach Medical Center’s advanced joint replacement care with the Joint Replacement Excellence Award™ two years in a row (2022-2023), Top 10% for Joint Replacement two years in a row (2022-2023), Five-Star for Total Knee Replacement three years in a row (2021-2023) and Five-Star for Total Hip Replacement three years in a row (2021-2023).

Beyond the clinical expertise, patients have reported an overall exceptional experience and are satisfied with Long Beach Medical Center surpassing national averages on more patients being discharged directly home after surgery rather than being discharged to a skilled nursing facility or a rehab hospital. In addition, many patients report walking 260 to 300 feet after surgery.

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