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Spotlight: Advancements in Orthopedic Medicine


As we age, so too do our bones and joints. Through the years, our bones may suffer breaks or fractures and our joints may sustain injuries or develop arthritis. The older we get, the more likely it is that we will we require the services of an orthopedic surgeon, possibly even requiring a joint replacement. According to a 2010 study conducted by the Mayo clinic, over 7.2 million Americans are currently living with an artificial knee or hip.

Originally, the term orthopedics referred to the treatment of musculoskeletal deformities in children, but today covers treatments for patients of all ages. The modern artificial hip was pioneered by Sir John Charnley in the 1960s, utilizing stainless steel and polyethylene to replace damaged joints. Soon after, similar methods were adapted to develop artificial knees for patients who suffer from both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.

Medical researchers are continually perfecting artificial hip and knee joints. Knees used to be one size fits most. You could be a 6’2” man or a 5’4” woman and you would receive the same knee. But now, they are modifying knee replacements to better match the anatomy of the recipient, resulting in a better outcome for the patient.

Once a new surgical development is discovered, it needs to be taught and practiced before performing it on living patients. Whole body donors play a vital role in training medical professionals on the latest procedures, including how to place the newest, most effective artificial joint implants. Undoubtedly, most of us will feel a little less nervous knowing that our doctors had practice before we became their patients.

To learn more about whole body donation, call us on our 24 hour toll free number 866-560-2525, or email us at