How well does the new technology knee joint unispacer work?greenspun.com : LUSENET : About Joints : One Thread
I heard about this new orthopedic device for the knee joint called a unispacer. I know that it is used for the medial side of the knee joint and is approved by the FDA, but is it effective, and how many different spacers are out there in the market today?
-- Dale Gorney (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 12, 2003
Dale, I had the surgery 3 months ago and it is exremely painful. should be well now and it is not. Dr. wants to do a total knee replacement now. Give this surgery a lot of thought. I am 68 and exremely active and had surgery on the same knee 25 yrs ago.
-- Fred Watts (email@example.com), April 24, 2003.
Fred, I am sorry to hear about the pain that you are still having from your surgery. Sometimes I think that alot of these orthopaedic doctors are in the business just for the money and could care less about people. I have seen 3 doctors including my original surgeon, and I still am having a hard time trying to find out why I am having so much trouble and pain in my knee. (See the question I wrote above my unispacer question for more detail). I have done more research on the unispacer, and I have found that the unispacer is for people with with ample amout of cartilage on the ends of their bones. I don't know if I fall into that category. If your unispacer doesn't work out well, it might be time to get another doctor. Keep in touch, and let me know how things work out for you.
-- Dale Gorney (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 24, 2003.
The Unispacer is the only device of its kind on the market today (others may be in development). The key benefit of the device is that it does not require bone cuts and therefore does not compromise future surgery. I consider it an interim solution for patients who have significant arthritis on the inside half of the knee but are too young for a joint replacement. The major disadvantages of the device is the relatively short history of use and the fact that rehabilitation takes longer than a partial knee replacement.
-- Marc Hungerford, M.D. (email@example.com), July 07, 2003.
I had the unispacer in my right knee 10Oct03. I cannot step up with my right knee and it painful most of the time. My Doc says "old age", in other words my medial meniscus was to far gone. Done believe that 6 to 8 weeks for recovery. I am giving it a year and then TKR.
-- Reggie Clark (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 03, 2003.
I had my right knee done in 10/02 with the unispacer. I am still in pain and have less motion now. Bottem line, I wish I waited for a better mousetrap. I looked and looked for some-one who had undergone this surgery, but never got to talk to anyone. Now I stop and think, all my weight bearing down on a hardened piece of steel. They need to make something soft, like the original equipment. I can stand on my feet for about an hour, my knee gets hot and I'm tired of limping. I'm 53 years old.
-- bob menolasino (email@example.com), October 20, 2003.
I had unispacer surgery on my left knee March 31, 2003. It should be well by now but does not seem to be as good as before surgery. I have Fibromyalgia--this could slow recovery down. Will give it 2-3 more months thaen I may have to consider replacement. Has anyone else had this surgery or knee replacement who has Fibromyalgia? I would like to hear from you. I have very good range and mobility-- even better than the Dr. expected so he cannot understand why I still have pain. Possibly it is Fibro. Please reply
-- Sharon Grant (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 11, 2003.
I had an ACL reconstuction and the unispacer installed in May 03. To date, I have full range of motion, able to straighten my knee completely. The downside is that I still have the pain that caused me to see the doctor in the first place. I can see why, since I don't have anything to soften the weight of bone on bone except the metal unispacer. My doctor wants me to give it a year...time is fast running out. If you haven't had it done, don't do it. There is no clinical proof that the unispacer works. I have it heard it called a PR product. Mike
-- Mike Karlow (email@example.com), March 29, 2004.
My husband had a unispacer inserted in July 2003. Until 3 weeks ago, he was not able to do what he wanted to. He was in pain (constantly, I think) and considered his quality of life terrible. He went to the dr intending to discuss a partial knee replacement. The dr put him on Bextra. It has made all the difference in the world. He still has pain, but he said it's managable. He's running again. Unfortunately, the insurance company will not approve this medicine at the current time. My husband is the first patient his dr has done with the unispacer.
-- Lisa Gossett (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 04, 2004.
Dale - I had my unispacer inserted in August 03 and let me tell you it was the best thing I ever did. The recovery time was a lot longer then they originally tell you and the rehab was very painful, but I have no regrets. Before the surgery I could hardly walk without severe pain. In October of 2003 I did all the tourist things in FL and had only mild pain which went away with Motrin. If I had it all to do over again I would do it in heartbeat. Just prepare for a long painful recovery. Meta
-- meta (email@example.com), May 19, 2004.
I'm 57, had unispacer surgery on 1/15/04. MUCH more painful than I anticipated or was led to believe. I've worked hard at rehab, weight training,bicycle, now stairstepper. I've seen progressive improvement for the first four months, still improving. I still have swelling that M.D. says could last for some time but its getting better. Soreness but very mnageable after long period of walking or heavy workouts but that is noticeably getting better. I would definitely do it again now that I Know what to expect. Dave A.
-- David (DCALKA@Adelphia.net), May 19, 2004.
I had my unispacer installed 10-02 and until 12-03 I wondered what in the world I had done to myself.I had considerable swelling with much pain on walking. The thing that kept me going was how comfortable my knee was when I was inactive with no achiness.I excercised lots with swimming,bicycle,weights and stair climber but couldn't seem to increase strength in the leg for stairs,rock climbing,skiing or running.Since Dec 03 the swelling finally seems to be reduced and the knee feels more like a real knee and pain is now minimal but I still can't depend on the knee because it still seems weak and somewhat clumsy.I think I would do this again just because of the comfort.
-- paul fritschka (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 27, 2004.
At our office, we have had significant experience and sucesses with numerous UniSpacer's. To our knowledge, we have performed the greatest number of UniSpacer procedures in the Midwest. It is minimally invasive as oppossed to a partial or complete knee replacement. We have refined the procedure and believe our resuts speak for themselves. It's really not age-related, it's knee anatomy- related. For the right patient, the UniSpacer remains a very good alternative to other more invasive knee procedures.
-- David Trotter, MD (email@example.com), June 06, 2004.
i had the unispacer put in my left knee in july,2003. it was very painful and it took me longer to get back to my old self than i thought it would. but it is in great shape now. it took 8 months before it was pain free and i could walk as i felt i should.i went back to work after 2 months and i still was on pain meds for a few months. BUT i had excellent range of motion right from the start. doc was really impressed. it felt so good i had my other knee done in febuary 2004. this one isnt at all like the first. i have had problems with walking and pain control since the surgery. my knee still is very painful(right one) and i am going for the synvisc shots starting this next week. i cant walk normal as yet and went back to work after 3 months. if this had been my experince with the first knee i wouldnt have gotten the second one done. i am going to keep doing therapy at home and am still hopeful this knee gets better..as the first one is terrific. my advice is do the therapy daily and remember ice is your friend...and realize it will take a longer than the docs say. if you go in with this knowledge you will do fine. good luck with your decision.
-- Shirley Mowrey (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 24, 2004.
I HAD AN UNISPACER PUT IN MY LEFT KNEE IN2002 AND WENT THRUGH PT FOR ABOUT 6 WEEKS AT ABOUT 9 WEKS THE THING STARTED POPING OUT OF THE JOINT COUSING MY KNEE TO LOCK AN DWAS EXTRIMLY PAINFULL THE ONLY WAY TO GET IT BACK INTO PLACE WAS TO HAVE MY WIFE PULL ON MY LEG SOTHAT I COULD PRESS IT INTO THE JOINT WITH MY THUMBS. I FINLY HAD IT REMOVED AND HAD A TKR DONE IT WORKS MUCH BETTER BUT THE RECOVERY TIME WAS THREE TIME AS LONG DUE TO THE FACT THAT I LOST THREE MONTHS MESSING WITH SOMTHING THAT DOSEN'T WORK. I HAVE TORN ETHE ACL AND MUNISCUSE IN MY RIGHT KNEE AND HAVE HAD THREE PRIER INJURYS TO IT AND WILL SEE A DOCTORE ABOUT IT IN TWO WEEKS BUT IF HE EVEN TALKS ABOUT A UNISPACER I WILL NOT EVEN CONSIDER IT AGAIN.
-- Rubin (email@example.com), July 01, 2004.
I had a unispacer put in on 11/25/02. I read all the great information about it, and I had previously been taking synovistic shots which worked for about 5 or 6 months pain free. After going to Dr's office for next round of shots it seems that Sulzer had gotten to him and sort of trained him about unispacers. He told me to read up on them and then decide as I looked like a good canidate. I read that there was equipment that they could measure the right size to put in before even cutting, so I agreeded. In the surgery I was awake and I could hear that there was a Sulzer represenative there to give input as this was the first unispacer put in by my Dr. and Assistant Dr. who do all the knees in our town and area. while the figured out what size to put in and they did put it in, I heard the Factory Rep say to the Dr. to try and pull out the Unispacer, and if it comes out, put a larger one in.I also read that they did not need to do any other bone cutting, but they had to do some bone cutting to get a much larger unispacer in. From day one I was in extreme pain, had to ice it down all the time, need hydrocodone every 4 hours and that still left it extremely painful. After swelling, high blood tests results for inflamation,therefore on 2/13/03 I had the unispacer removed and hoped I could get the shots again, but since they had cut bone my pain for the next three months was totally out of control, to I had to agree to get a total knee replacement on 03/03/04, of which I was awake again, and when they open it up and out came infection and loss of 6 units of blood from damage from the unispacer. I later saw the unispacer and the bottom was not smooth like it should have been and had groves in it. The Dr. had it and would not give it to me, and now says he cannot find it. Its been a year and months since knee replacemengt and same pain and problems again with new knee. Who in the H--- are making these items and who is inspecting them. It looks like I will need another knee, but with a new Dr.
-- Thomas J Augustine (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 04, 2004.
I have read all these unispacer comments with much trepidation. I really believe that should I go with one, I BEST be getting a doctor who has put in thousands.... I am glad to know these come in various sizes as I believe the earliest surgeries did not have that option. I have read quite a few great stories of much success. I have not had any knee injections as of yet, but was seriously considering the unispacer until I read a lot of negative accounts. I do a lot of photography (a 2nd side job that is much needed) and I can NOT afford to lose the use of my knees. I do not want to wait until there is so much damage to the bone that I have to get TKR instead. I am 46 yrs. old and to have TKR would be very foolish as I would probably wear it out in 8 years instead of the customary 15. I just want to be sure before I head into this surgery what to expect... or should I run like hell and just deal with constant pain. The pain is so much worse now. so ANY advice out there... would be greatly appreciated! Cindy Adddis
-- Cindy Addis (email@example.com), July 11, 2004.
Ihad my uni spacer put in 10-06-04 its been 10 weeks. i was doing very good at first had to have fluid removed (yikes that hurt)but now im having terrible wieght bearing pain and the swelling has never gone down. i do my physical therapy and swim but im getting very discouraged.im only 42 but ill give it a year than im getting tkr. the physical therapist said i would be doing much better now if i had done a tkr.e-mail me if you want to talk
-- BELINDA (BAPOST@HOTMAIL.COM), December 15, 2004.
I had the surgery in question October 24, 2003. What was supposed to be a relatively short operation turned into a couple of hours. The additional time for me was due to waiting too long to have the operation. I had had bone to bone for quite sometime but did not know it. Mu sergeon had to reshape the bones and smooth them out for the unispacer to work properly. I spent the next 6 weeks on my back letting evything heel. I lost almost all muscle mass in my leg which meant rehab was going to take a long time. On December 10, 2003, my doctor put me back into the hospital to "manipulate" my knee. They had to stretch all the muscles around the knee back out. I then started rehab in a swimming pool. It was slow going but as the weeks progressed, so did I. It took almost a year for me to get my knee back into shape. I have no pain at all in it. I continue to work on my range of motion. It is slow going but I'm sure I will have almost the complete range back soon. I do not have any restrictions as far as stairs. My doctor has told me NO RUNNING. However, I have run on it on the soft ground with no problems. I do not plan on any foot races anytime soon.
-- Michael Boyle (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 23, 2005.