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Dr. Matthew Barber traveled to Birmingham, AL last week to speak at the Alabama Self-Insured Association (ASIA) Winter workshop. He spoke to a packed room on the benefits of 3D printed knee implants and was very well-received.
* ASIA is an organization that represents the interests of employers in Alabama who self-insure workers’ compensation coverage on their employees.
Springhill Medical Center is the first hospital in the Mobile area to offer Stryker’s Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Partial Knee and Total Hip replacement procedures. This latest advancement in joint replacement surgery is transforming the way joint replacement procedures are performed.
“This system allows us to be extremely precise in the planning, preparation and implantation of joint prostheses to help patients achieve the best possible results,” said Dr. Matthew Barber, AOC Joint Replacement Specialist.
Robotic-arm assisted surgery is a new approach to joint replacement that offers the potential for a higher level of patient-specific implant alignment and positioning. The technology allows surgeons to create a patient-specific 3D plan and perform joint replacement surgery using a surgeon-controlled robotic-arm that helps the surgeon execute the procedure with a high degree of accuracy.
“Mako is changing the way joint replacement surgeries are performed,” said Dr. Barber. Using a virtual 3D model, the Mako System allows the surgeons to personalize each patient’s surgical plan pre-operatively, so there is a clear plan for how the surgeon will position the implant before entering the operating room. During surgery, the surgeon can validate that plan and make any necessary adjustments, while the robotic-arm then allows the surgeon to execute that plan with a high level of accuracy and predictability. The combination of these three features of the system has the potential to lead to better outcomes and higher patient satisfaction.
The Mako Partial Knee application is a treatment option designed to relieve the pain caused by joint degeneration due to osteoarthritis that has not yet progressed to all three compartments of the knee. Following the personalized pre-operative plan, the surgeon guides the robotic-arm during bone preparation to execute the predetermined surgical plan and to position the implant. By selectively targeting only the part of the knee damaged by osteoarthritis, surgeons can resurface the diseased portion of the knee while helping to spare the healthy bone and ligaments surrounding the knee joint. Studies have shown robotic-arm assisted partial knee replacement to be two to three times more accurate than manual partial knee replacement procedures.
The Mako Total Hip application is a treatment option for adults who suffer from degenerative joint disease of the hip. During surgery, the surgeon guides the robotic-arm during bone preparation to prepare the hip socket and position the implant according to the predetermined surgical plan. In cadaveric studies, Mako total hip replacement acetabular cup replacement has been shown to be four times more accurate and reproducible than manual total hip replacement procedures.
“AOC is very proud to have this innovative technology in the greater Mobile area,” said Dr. Barber. “I am excited about leveraging the use of robotic technology to produce better outcomes for our patients.”
It’s an unfortunate fact that up to 20% of patients who undergo traditional knee replacement are unhappy with their results due to persistent pain in the joint—even after surgery. This chronic pain typically comes from a variety of sources, including instability, stiffness, or improper fit and sizing of the implants. AOC has the only local surgeon, Dr. Matt Barber, who provides a solution to some of these potential problems with the ConforMIS iTotal Knee Replacement.
Dr. Barber knew there had to be a way to achieve a higher success rate for total knee replacement. He found that ConforMIS uses 3D printing technology to fabricate patient-specific implants designed to perfectly match an individual’s anatomy and replicate the form and function of his or her original knee. By using a CT scan of the knee, ConforMIS’ computer software can calculate the shape and position of the implant that works best and restores the proper alignment of the leg.
While there are other technologies available (such as robotic assistance), they still use the conventional off-the-shelf knee implants, thus still having the potential for anatomic mismatches. ConforMIS’s total knee and partial knee replacements, on the other hand, are patient specific, producing a comfortable fit and allowing more natural movement with a quicker recovery time. In addition, the femoral component of this implant is thinner than those involved in a traditional total knee replacement, preserving more of the patient’s bone, which can be beneficial if other treatments are ever needed.
ConforMIS iTotal Knee Replacement is the first FDA-approved custom total knee replacement system for people who have osteoarthritis of the knee and is the only system of its kind designed for each individual patient’s needs.