c-clinicAn Ohio doctor is performing a progressive new knee replacement surgery that he states is quite simply, for anyone. So if the knee cartilage is wearing thin, the pain is getting harder to tolerate, and you’ve been told that surgery is in your future, perhaps investigating a 3D printed implant is in your future.

With over 600,000 patients going in for knee surgery each year, and a rise in that of younger people ending up in the operating room, the idea of customized implants that fit uniquely to the patient’s body should certainly be a welcome prospect all around. And the bottom line is, it’s time to move further into the age of patient-specific care. Dr. Roger Palutsis of Carnation Clinic in Alliance, Ohio has been recommending what he considers to be a revolutionary new surgery, all thanks to the ConforMIS knee replacement system.

The manufacturer of ConforMIS states that their knee implants are completely unique.

“We design and manufacture customized knee implants, both the femur and tibia, for each patient. No two are alike,” states ConforMIS at their website. “Our femoral and tibial implants are individually sized and shaped to fit to each patient’s unique anatomy, offering advantages we believe are not achievable with ‘off-the-shelf’ knee implants.”

50,000 knee replacements have been performed so far using the ConforMIS product and process which allows for a 3D map to be taken of the knee. The surgeon is then responsible for customizing the 3D printed implant. And as we’ve followed previously in regards to the ConforMIS system, patients are known to leave the hospital as soon as 24 hours after surgery and get back to work within two or three weeks.

“About six or seven years ago, I started doing custom patient specific instruments and I would always say to my patients, this is great, but I wish we could get a custom implant, which I never thought we would see,” says Dr. Palutsis.

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The 3D printed implants are custom fitted. [Photo: WOIO]

Dr. Palutsis used the ConforMIS system for the first time on patient Lynn Fast, who certainly has glowing remarks regarding the surgery, stating that she feels “like a brand new woman.”  Since then, he has done quite a few more.

“I kept telling him, I just want to walk without pain,” Fast said. “At this stage in my life, I want to get down and play with the kids.”

Lynn Fast with Dr. Roger Palutsis (Photo: WOIO)

Lynn Fast with Dr. Roger Palutsis [Photo: WOIO]

Fast, like so many of us, had heard about the traditional knee replacement process. Even with the most modern of methods that have been available previously, recuperation can be laborious.

“When we did that replacement and it fit like a glove, there were these oohs and ahhhhs,” said Palutsis.

Currently in physical therapy, Fast has had a seamless and quick recovery.

“It came so naturally,” she said. “It feels like it’s healing very naturally. I don’t feel like I have a limp or anything like that, I just go about it.”

3D printed implants of all types are becoming more popular for use in surgical procedures, from spinal implants to those for the cranium. The ConforMIS 3D printed implant is even covered by insurance in most cases, and the only patients not eligible for the surgery are those who have already had a replacement previously. For more information, contact the Carnation Clinic. Discuss in the ConforMIS forum at 3DPB.com.

[Source: Cleveland 19 News]
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[Photo: WOIO]

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