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Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - Customize your knee replacement joint for optimal results

Customize your knee replacement joint for optimal results

By Sunil R. Thacker, M.D. F.A.A.O.S.

            As an orthopedist, I have seen remarkable progress in the use of artificial joints over the past several years. With continued technological advances, more and more procedures are performed using minimally invasive surgery which lessens patient post-op pain and quickens recovery. The next phase of modern surgical technology is our ability to customize artificial replacement parts to optimally suit each patient’s unique anatomy. For patients in need of total knee replacement, this technology is especially beneficial. Today, we can match your new knee implant more precisely to your own body because one size does not fit all. Over the past few years, I have used custom-fit knee joints with great success for many of my patients with severe arthritis or irreparable damage to the knee.

Today, total knee replacement is a common and safe surgery used to relieve severe pain and disability caused by osteoarthritis or traumatic injury, resulting in the breakdown of knee cartilage. More than 700,000 of these surgeries were completed in 2012 and nine out of 10 patients reported dramatic pain relief. Total knee replacement operations more than doubled between 1999 and 2008 in the United States. Historically, they were primarily performed on seniors who were severely disabled by osteoarthritis. But today, patients in their 40s and 50s are experiencing an earlier onset of this condition, often as a result of injury, overuse or obesity.

How can an artificial knee be customized?

Building a personalized artificial knee starts one or two months before surgery. The same components are used for an “off-the-shelf” knee implant as are used for a custom knee implant. However, a custom-fit knee replacement is created from the patient’s actual knee via MRI imaging which is used to construct a 3-D model of the existing knee. Using these personalized measurements, the orthopedic surgeon develops a customized knee implant that matches the patient's unique anatomy to optimize the alignment and fit of the new knee. This imagery is also used during the actual operation to create a more optimal fit between the artificial joint and the patient’s anatomy. As a result, the surgeon can also minimize the surgical process by knowing in advance exactly where to insert the knee. Therefore, there is less existing bone-cutting required allowing for a quicker and less painful recovery.

Significant benefits from custom knee replacement

Patients of all ages can experience marked benefits from customized knee replacement:

  • Minimally invasive surgery preserves more existing bone
  • Less time in surgery and faster recovery
  • Less pain than traditional total knee replacement
  • Improved overall range of knee motion
  • More natural feeling knee movement compared to a traditional one-size-fits-all knee replacement
  • Improved long-term wear of the knee

 

If you are facing total knee replacement due to arthritis, injury or degenerative disease, you may be a candidate for minimally invasive, custom-fit knee replacement. Talk with an orthopedist that specializes in performing this procedure and determine if it might be a better solution for you.

The Total Joint Center of New Jersey at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold offers the very latest knee and joint replacement technology, including custom-fit knee replacement. The Center specializes in treatment for trauma-related joint injuries; sports injuries; osteoarthritis; and rheumatoid arthritis. It is the first hospital in New Jersey to introduce the Ci System by iOrthopaedics, a computer-assisted, minimally invasive knee replacement surgery designed to get you back on your feet sooner and with less pain. To learn more about state-of-the-art joint replacement, call (866) CENTRA7 or visit centrastate.com.

            Dr. Thacker is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon on staff at CentraState Medical Center where he specializes in sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery. He can be reached at Seaview Orthopaedic and Medical Associates by calling 732-462-1700.