Your knees are, in some shape or form, involved in almost all of your daily activities. Whether you are driving to work, shopping for groceries, or playing golf, you are using your knees. Yet, people rarely think about their knees. That is… until they start to hurt.
Since the first knee replacement surgery was performed over forty years ago in 1968, the world has witnessed countless advances in technology, from the creation of the internet and cell phones, to the sequencing of human DNA. During that time, knee replacements have become one of the most successful procedures in all of medicine. Therefore, it is only fitting that the technology used in knee replacement surgeries has advanced as well.
AOC physician, Dr. Matthew Barber, is the first orthopaedic surgeon in the Mobile area to embrace a revolutionary technology designed to improve patient outcomes with a better fit, faster recovery, better function and greater overall patient satisfaction. The customized knee replacement technology strives to make the procedure even more successful than when using traditional off-the-shelf implants. The product is called the ConforMIS iTotal® and despite being a relatively new technology, there have already been over 30,000 implantations of these customized devices across the country.
Prior to ConforMIS customized implants being available, orthopedic surgeons could only chose from a limited range of sizes of “off-the-shelf” implants. With ConforMIS, a uniquely sized and shaped implant can be designed and manufactured for each individual patient and matched to their specific anatomy. The first step is a CT scan is taken of the patient’s bone. From there, the CT scan is submitted to ConforMIS and a three-dimensional model of the knee is created using proprietary imaging software. This model is used to create a mold using advanced 3D printing technology, which re-creates the shape of the patient’s knee, corrected for any underlying deformity. Additionally, 3D printing is also used to create a complete set of instruments for the surgeon that are single-use and only used during one procedure. Total production time is only 6 weeks.
“ConforMIS is able to create implants that are within millimeters of a patient’s biological knee, thereby avoiding size compromises often faced with off-the-shelf implants,” says Dr. Barber. The customized fit of the iTotal requires less bone and soft tissue removal by the surgeon, which is believed to help shorten recovery time and offer the potential for a knee that moves more naturally.
At this time, Dr. Barber is the only orthopaedic surgeon in the Mobile area to offer a customized option for partial knee and total knee replacement implants. If you feel you might be a candidate for this innovative procedure, please call Alabama Orthopaedic Clinic at (251) 410-3600 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Barber today.
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