ConforMIS News

  • Samstag, 2/22/14

    3-D technology yields custom-made knees (Houston Chronicle)

    Before the surgeries, Tim Kauzlick couldn’t stand for very long. He couldn’t play 18 holes of golf, even with a cart. A high school and college football player, he had to give up officiating high school and college basketball games, which he loved.

    Then, like hundreds of thousands of Americans each year, Kauzlick, now 54, had his knees replaced. It is one of the most common major surgeries and, as the country ages, it’s gaining in popularity. According to 2010 data, 226,117 total knee replacements were performed that year. The Journal of the American Medical Association predicts that number will rise to nearly 3.5 million per year by 2030.

    Unlike many baby boomers with aching knees, Kauzlick did his homework. After much research, he decided to go to an orthopedic surgeon who could fit him with special customized knee replacements.

    Advocates say these kinds of total knee replacements, available only since the summer of 2012, are to knees what custom-made bespoke shirts are to Brooks Brothers button-downs: They just fit better.

    Kauzlick sought out Dr. David Mack, head of the Houston Sports Clinic, one of several Houston-area orthopedists to use the custom knees, who has been sold on them since he learned they were available. He has done about 100 partial custom knee replacements and about 50 total custom knees.

    „No two knees are alike, and these are individually matched to each patient,“ Mack said.

    They are constructed of the same chromium- cadmium-molybdenum alloy as other knee implants. The difference is that the custom implant is made from images derived from extensive CT scans of the damaged knee, essentially reproducing a new, undamaged version of that knee.

    In addition, the knee comes with new white plastic instruments that are 3-D printed to suit the new knee – an example of the growing trend of using 3-D printed items in medical procedures.

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