County’s first Vitamin E total knee replacement performed at Tri-City Medical Center

County’s first Vitamin E total knee replacement performed at Tri-City Medical Center

Dr. James Helgager, an experienced orthopedic surgeon, implanted the first Vitamin E Total Knee Replacement in San Diego County on July 31 at Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside. Helgager is the Medical Director of Joint Replacement for the Orthopaedic & Spine Institute at Tri-City Medical Center. He has been practicing medicine for more than three decades and has performed thousands of total knee replacements.

E-plus, manufactured by Vista-based DJO Surgical, a DJO Global Company, is an innovative polyethylene blended with vitamin E, a natural anti-oxidant. This insert has been created for the 3DKneeTM, a knee replacement designed to improve strength, stability, and flexion in recipients.

Polyethylene wear continues to be a weak point in total knee replacement. Vitamin E improves the material’s tensile strength while preventing polyethylene degenerating oxidation. This will help the material hold up to the expectations of today’s active patient. E-plus is the first blended vitamin e polyethylene, meaning that the vitamin E is blended right into the resin and is homogeneous throughout the insert component.

The 3DKnee Data Driven Design is based on over a decade of research into total knee kinematics and over 30,000 have been implanted world-wide. E-plus now adds a new level of performance to 3DKnee total knee replacement. “The cause of Total Knee Replacement failure is polyethylene wear and DJO’s E-plus polyethylene bearing surface is very promising in addressing this issue,” said Dr. Helgager. “Long-term studies will prove its longevity and performance benefits to the patient.”

With the aging baby boomer population, orthopedic procedures are growing exponentially. Active people are requiring joint replacements at a younger age and are living longer. It is becoming increasingly important to use strong, lasting materials in joint replacements.

Total knee replacement is conducted under general or local anesthesia; and generally takes about 1 to 1 ½ hours to complete. Most patients will be placing weight on their new knee the day of or the day after surgery.

Dr. Helgager can be reached by calling the hospital’s Orthopaedic & Spine Institute at (760) 940-3000.