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October 23, 1972

Modem Trends in Orthopaedics—6

Author Affiliations

Mayo Clinic Rochester

JAMA. 1972;222(4):491-492. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03210040059032

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According to Apley, a "modern trend" is an advance which may be safely copied. Certainly, most of these nine articles discuss subjects which have recently aroused much interest among orthopedists and, indeed, their patients. Inevitably, total joint replacement claims most attention. Total hip arthroplasty has completely changed the practice of many orthopedic surgeons. Spectacularly successful, it is at present the most satisfying reconstructive procedure an orthopedist can perform. However, as Parsons points out, it is still a time for caution: no one knows how the human body will react to the prolonged presence of polymethylmethacrylate or of small particles of metal or polyethylene. Complications of pulmonary embolus, dislocation, ectopic calcification, infection, loss of fixation, and sudden operative death are rightly emphasized.

The history of knee replacement includes some reasonable results with the use of a hinged prosthesis, but the modern trend is for knee joint prostheses without mechanical linkage. Since