New type of knee replacement offers patients longer-lasting relief

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PITTSBURGH - A new plastic and ceramic knee replacement implant is now being offered in Pittsburgh. It promises to last 30 years, twice as long as the traditional knee replacement.

The procedure is more expensive and has only been around for two years.

Dr. Michael Levine at Forbes Regional Hospital said baby boomers are choosing to have this surgery earlier in life.

“We can give 20 to 30 years of pain relief and not have to worry about re-doing it,” said Levine.

Pittsburgh resident Buddy Ross said he would get cortisone shots and take Vicodin daily before having the new procedure.

"After six weeks of recovery, I’m not limping around and moaning and groaning,” said Ross.

The procedure has only been performed by doctors for two years and it isn't offered at all hospitals. Doctors said the plastic and ceramic knee replacements are more expensive than the traditional form, but most insurance companies do cover the costs.