ConforMIS News

  • Mittwoch, 3/12/14

    New knee implant technology reaches Columbia (Columbia Business Times)

    Columbia Business Times

    A knee replacement procedure involving the use of three-dimensional printing to create a map of a patient’s knee is only available in a few markets in the U.S., and Columbia is one of those markets.

    Sonny Bal, professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Missouri, said he has done at least 245 knee replacements with the new 3D printing that ensures accurate sizing, orientation, rotation and alignment of each individual patient’s knee implant.

    Irene Sackreiter, 61, who is on her second knee surgery, said she decided to try the new procedure because the mapping technology allows the production of a custom knee implant that is precisely the shape and size of her natural knee.

    ConforMIS, the company behind the technology, uses the 3D map to then develop a precise wax mold that is used to form the metal components of the knee, resulting in a replication of a patient’s knee that is manufactured under controlled environments in Boston.

    “There are far fewer instruments for the hospital to inventory and clean,” Bal said. “By simplifying the process, the risk of medical errors is reduced.”

    Bal said he began using the technology in January 2013 and that the use of it has increased since, especially because there is no incremental cost to it compared to standard, “off the shelf” knee replacement components.

    Sackreiter sought Bal as a second opinion. Bal suggested the new procedure to Sackreiter who didn’t know about it at the time.

    “Dr. Bal told me it was relatively new and described that it was going to be a custom knee that should theoretically be much better,” Sackreiter said. “It sold me. Even though I haven’t had any trouble with my other knee replacement, it just made sense to me that if there’s a custom joint made, it would just be a better fit and you would get better performance out of it.”

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