Total knee replacement (TKR) surgery can be a life-changing option for men and women suffering from the debilitating effects of advanced arthritis or other trauma to the knee joint.
Introduced in 1968, knee replacement surgery has advanced significantly during the past nearly five decades, relying on advancements in technology, materials and surgical techniques to offer millions of men and women greater mobility and improved range of motion so they can lead productive, fulfilling, pain-free lives once again.
Miriams Knee Replacement
Why is TKR performed?
Total knee replacement replaces a joint that’s become damaged by the effects of arthritis, which causes the cartilage on joint surfaces to slowly wear away, revealing the unprotected ends of the bones underneath. Without this protective cartilage barrier, even the slightest movement can be painful, and every day activities like walking, climbing stairs and even standing up can be excruciating.
People with severe arthritis are limited in the amount and types of activities they can perform, resulting in decreased mobility that can take a huge toll on their quality of life. Total knee replacement can help these men and women enjoy more active lives by replacing damaged joints so movement is more comfortable again.
Because it’s a major surgery, TKR is performed when other, more conservative options like medication, injections and physical therapy have failed to provide relief or when they aren’t an option.
Judy Tactils Knee Replacement
Custom Knee Replacement
Custom knee replacements use MRI scans and x-rays to obtain precise measurements of your knee which can guide the surgeon during the knee replacement procedure. Data from the MRI and x-ray are fed into a computer, which uses special software to determine where the bone should be incised, or cut, in order to preserve as much healthy bone and ligament tissue as possible. Custom knee replacements offer patients substantial benefits over standard surgical techniques, including:
- precise fit and alignment of the new joint
- faster recovery
- less blood loss
- decreased risk of infection
- less postoperative pain and discomfort
- faster return to normal activities
How is TKR performed?
Before total knee replacement is performed, you’ll undergo a comprehensive physical exam and evaluation including a personal medical history and diagnostic imaging to ensure custom knee replacement surgery is the best option for your needs. During the surgery, the knee joint will be carefully removed using the custom cutting guides to ensure as much healthy tissue is preserved as possible.
Hazel Atkinsons Story:
The new metal joint will be carefully attached to the ends of the upper and lower leg bones and a special spacer will be inserted to facilitate motion. In some cases, the kneecap, or patella, will be resurfaced as well. Total knee replacement surgery is performed under general anesthesia and takes about one to two hours in most cases.
Conformis – iFit® Image to Implant Technology
The Conformis process starts with a patient CT scan through the hip through the affected knee and ankle. The proprietary iFit® software converts the 2 dimensional CT data into a 3 dimensional model that replicates that patient’s unique and anatomical bone geometry.
In the 3D environment,iFit® recreates the patient’s natural J curves, corrected for deformity. From the 3D model of the patient’s knee, iFit® software builds the femoral and tibial implants to match the unique size and shape of each knee which are designed to address common causes of patient dissatisfaction including pain and unnatural feel.
That same 3D model is also used to design patient-specific instrumentation for each step of the surgery allowing for an efficient and simplified surgical technique.
Conformis has pioneered additive manufacturing and 3D printing technology for producing single-sue, patient-specific. Instead of reusable instruments that require cleaning and re-sterilization, positioning guides come pre-sterilized and are used on only one patient.
iFit® design and manufacturing technology enables mass-customization, a term foreign to the orthopedic industry. Unlike any knee replacement available today, Conformis customized implants and instruments are delivered pre-sterilized in a single box before surgery greatly reducing hospital costs associated with impact storage and instrument sterilization. Simply put, iFit® technology and just-in-time delivery model put Conformis in a class of it’s own with unparalleled speed of innovation.
Are you a good candidate for custom knee replacement surgery?
Custom knee replacements can be a good option for many men and women, but they’re not for everyone. Generally speaking, custom implants are not ideal for patients who have had prior knee surgery or who have injured ligaments.
Patients who are not eligible for MRI are also not good candidates for custom knee replacements.