Dr. Ira Kirschenbaum Explains Knee Resurfacing or Partial Knee Replacement

In this video, renowned orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Ira Kirschenbaum explains his revolutionary partial knee replacement or “knee resurfacing” technique. Dr. Kirschenbaum piloted the technique as a less invasive option for patients with limited damage to the knee joint. When only one area of the joint is diseased, Dr. Kirschenbaum’s technique can be used to repair the affected area while leaving the healthy parts of the knee intact. This revolutionary approach minimizes trauma and preserves the patient’s existing healthy ligaments and normal knee sensation.


The partial knee replacement or knee resurfacing technique is ideal for patients suffering from osteoarthritis that is restricted to one part of the joint, which Dr. Kirschenbaum estimates to include up to 70% of all knee arthritis sufferers. Dr. Kirschenbaum explains that this is a better option compared with traditional full knee replacement for many patients because it is permanent. If a traditional knee replacement fails after 5 or 10 years, the patient must undergo another complete knee replacement. By contrast, those with knee resurfacing have more options down the line.


The video opens with an interview with a middle-aged African American man who elected to have knee resurfacing instead of a complete knee replacement after a lifetime of active living left him suffering from arthritis in his knee. The man explains that the pain was impacting his quality of life, preventing him from being active and playing sports. He claims he was “popping Advil like candy” because of the persistent aching and throbbing in his knee.


Following this, Dr. Kirschenbaum explains his knee resurfacing technique and its minimally invasive nature. He notes that the procedure is not recommended for those with extensive arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. The procedure is potentially a good fit for patients who have damage to one of the three compartments in the knee. Dr. Kirschenbaum is able to resurface just the diseased end of the affected bone, replacing it with metal and high-density medical grade plastic.


Dr. Ira Kirschenbaum specializes in joint replacement and reconstruction surgeries. According to WebMD, he has pioneered several instruments to enable single compartment knee replacements in addition to a new hip replacement system that works without the need for cement. He was educated at Brown University and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and then completed his specialty training at The Rothmans Institute in Philadelphia. In the past, Dr. Ira Kirschenbaum served as the Chief of Reconstructive Surgery for Kaiser Permanente and is currently in practice in New York State where he is the Chairman of Orthopedics for Bronxcare Health System and completes nearly 500 solo operations annually. Dr. Kirschenbaum has been a member of numerous professional organizations including The American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons,The Orthopaedic Research Society, The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, and many more. Additionally, Dr. Kirschenbaum was involved in the creation of MedScape, has published on many topics relating to health information technology, research, and innovation, and served as Community Health Editor for WebMD.


Dr. Ira Kirschenbaum

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