3-D mapping gives Presbyterian/St. Luke’s patients custom knee and hip replacements
In recent years, advancements in materials and surgical techniques have allowed hip and knee replacements to go from an ordeal involving lengthy hospitalization and recovery to a much simpler and shorter procedure. More than 700,000 knee replacements are done every year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and many of those are performed at HCA Healthcare hospitals.
And now, at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center in Denver, those patients are getting an extra level of service thanks to 3-D mapping and the creation of a new, custom knee joint.
“The idea here is instead of the patient having to fit to the knee, we make the knee fit the patient,” says Dr. Ian Dickey, an orthopedic oncologist at Colorado Limb Consultants. Dr. Dickey and his fellow surgeons oversee the process where a patient’s hip, knee and ankle undergo CT scans, and then ConforMIS, a Massachusetts software company, works from the scans to develop and then print a 3-D custom knee implant, as well as the personalized instrumentation needed by robotic surgery devices to position that implant for the best alignment. This means the new knee is within millimeters of where the old one was inside the body, allowing for a better patient experience following the procedure.
“The marriage of CAT scans and 3-D printing is a revolutionary change in total knee replacement,” Dr. Dickey says. “The enhanced precision allows a custom knee replacement with perfect rotation, alignment and fit. This results in better motion that is more natural and a faster rehabilitation time.”
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