| GEO Health|
| New knee replacement sees patients walking 2 hrs after surgery|
| Updated at: 1001 PST, Friday, July 23, 2010|
LONDON: Medics have come up with a new system of knee replacement that could see patients walking just two hours after surgery.
Most patients who undergo the new method are allowed to leave hospital within 36 hours and some are able to go home within a day of going under the knife.
Consultant orthopedic surgeon Tony Smith at North Wales NHS Trust devised the system with a team of physiotherapists, anaesthetists, nurses and hospital managers.
They combined their ideas with the latest innovations from Australia, Copenhagen and the USA.
Instead of being laid up in bed for at least 24 hours, patients are encouraged to bend their legs to almost 90 degrees as soon as possible and to take their first new steps.
The concept is so alien to most patients that the team has had to set up a joint school to prepare them for what is in store.
The system combines new aesthetic techniques with highly effective pain management.
Anti-depressants and drugs traditionally used to treat fits are being employed, as medics have discovered they can act as pain killers.
Innovative: Tony Smith, who is leading the team of experts
About 2,000 patients will benefit from the improvements in the next 12 months alone.
The new techniques can also be used for hip and ankle treatments.