Improved artificial knee joint now available in Taiwan

Alfred Lee, The China Post

An improved artificial knee joint, which is able to bend 155 degrees instead of the 120 degrees of the traditional artificial knee joint, will be available to Taiwan patients requiring surgical joint replacement at the knee.

The new artificial knee joint, which was developed after many years of research by John N. Insall, the world’s leading developer of high flex artificial knee joints and a university in Japan, was introduced to Taiwan yesterday by the Kaohsiung Medical University (KMU). The new artificial knee joint, officially called high flex total artificial knee arthroplasty (joint), was approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) in September last year, according to Wang Gwo-Jaw, president of KMU.

The new artificial knee joint is especially suitable for people living in Asian countries where people tend to bend their knees frequently in daily life, Wang explained. The quality of the alloy and plastic materials used to make the man-made knee joint is superior to that of the materials used previously. As a result, the new artificial knee joint was introduced to Japan last year. Patients receiving such knee joints can get in or out of a taxi cab, do gardening, bend their knees in order to pick up things on the ground, swim, play golf, and play with children — activities which patients with earlier artificial knees could not undertake.

The new product is more comfortable, stabilizing, resistant to wear, and lasts longer than the conventional joint. It takes only one or two hours of surgery to replace a man-made knee joint for a patient, Wang elaborated. Wang, who was awarded top honors from American medical institutions, said that Taiwan averaged 8,000 patients annually whose knees needed to be replaced with artificial joints in recent years and 90 percent of the artificial knee joints were imported from abroad. Wang also said that the Department of Health has approved the use of this artificial high flex total joint in Taiwan and that the health insurance program covers the new product.