ConforMIS News

  • Montag, 2/24/14

    New Technology Allows for Personalized Knee Replacements (Kentucky Doc Magazine)

    Wallace Huff - Kentucky Doc Magazine

    Knee replacement, or arthroplasty, is one of the more common orthopedic procedures performed in the United States, with over 600,000 such procedures performed annually. Most commonly, knee replacement is indicated due to painful and debilitating osteoarthritis, and while this surgery was historically reserved for elderly patients with severe joint disease, knee replacement is becoming more and more common among individuals in the 45-65 year old range who develop arthritic disease and want to maintain their active lifestyles.

    The first knee replacement was performed in 1968 and since then the technology of knee arthroplasty has been continually evolving. Traditionally, surgeons work with manufactured implants in a range of sizes, surgically resurfacing the articulating surfaces of the patient’s knee to accommodate the closest fitting implant size. This method can often result in painful implant overhang or joint instability requiring revision. Customized implants have been available, but mostly for rare cases and at great expense. In the late 1990s computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data were beginning to be utilized to create customized tibial and femoral cutting guides to align standard implants to patient’s articular surfaces. Individualized instruments evolved from this technology. ConforMIS Inc. ( has taken the next step by using imaging technology and proprietary software that they have named the iFit® system to create patient specific implant and surgical instrumentation sets. The company currently offers three customizable models, the iTotal®, iUni® and iDuo®, representing total and uni-compartmental replacement options respectively with the “i” standing for individualized. This is unique in that the implants themselves are individually designed based on digital 3D images from a CT scan of the patient’s knee. Using an initial CT scan, a patient’s customized implants, instruments and cutting guides are can be designed using the ConforMIS software.

    Dr. Wallace Huff is an orthopedic surgeon who practices in Lexington at St. Joseph’s East while also maintaining a patient base in Corbin and Somerset. He began using the ConforMIS knee implants in 2013 and has seen such positive results he is now doing two or three ConforMIS replacements weekly, in addition to traditional knee arthroplasty. For new patients, he finds that 85 to 90 percent are candidates for ConforMIS customized implants versus the traditional “off the shelf” implants. Huff says that the ConforMIS implants are especially suited for younger patients, (less than 70 years old) partly because the customized fit of the replaced joint allows superior mechanical alignment which translates into enhanced stability and balance during activities such as stair climbing, bending and kneeling. Another huge benefit of the customized implants is that they are thinner than traditional implants, requiring less resection of native bone and cartilage during surgical placement. This results in less bleeding and preserves patient bone stock, if there is need for further revision, as often is the case, 15 to 20 years down the line.

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