Knee replacement: A step in the right direction

Mar 8,2011
After years of suffering with excruciating bone-on-bone knee pain, Becky Larsen could no longer put off knee replacement surgery.

“I was icing my knee about four times a day. My arthritis was just getting worse and worse,” said Larsen, a nurse at Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital.  

After many hours of research, she chose a VERILAST knee replacement performed by Dr. James Ryan, orthopedist at Samaritan Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Center in Corvallis.  

“I asked a lot of tough questions,” said Larsen, who made her decision by drawing on her 38 years of experience in nursing.  

While traditional knee replacements last 10 to 15 years, the VERILAST brand knee replacement has been laboratory-tested to last 30 years. Ryan is one of few surgeons who offer it.  

“The VERILAST knee replacement is made with harder, more polished materials than others,” explained Ryan. The implant features a patented oxidized metal that is paired with a highly cross-linked plastic. The durability of the materials reduces friction and increases durability, which leads to longer implant life.  

For Larsen, surgical technology was also an important factor in her decision: “Dr. Ryan uses the latest technology with custom instruments. It’s very exacting,” she said, referring to a single-use guide block that is manufactured for each patient’s unique measurements. 

The guide block is custom fabricated using data taken from a patient’s MRI and x-rays. Using the block during surgery saves approximately 22 surgical steps, resulting in less time under anesthesia for the patient as well as a smaller scar.  

Now that Larsen’s knee has healed, she is amazed with its strength.  

“My knee is stable now! It’s not wobbly anymore,” she said. She is able to work fulltime in home health/hospice care, and she has begun swimming. She plans to have her other knee replaced by Ryan soon. “I’m pleased we have access to doctors the caliber of Dr. Ryan, right here in the Samaritan Health network,” she said. “We care for Dr. Ryan’s patients in Home Health following their knee surgeries, and they have very good outcomes.”

For Ryan, being able to offer this level of surgical technology is very satisfying. “You start with an individual in a lot of pain, whose daily activities are limited. We can give them a pain-free knee that is built to last up to 30 years,” he said. “It’s a step in the right direction for the younger, active patient.”  

For more information on VERILAST, visit  

Referenced Providers