Knee replacement surgery can give people their mobility back and allow them to live without pain, but sometimes, after several years, knee replacements can fail, resulting in more pain and reduced mobility. When that happens, the solution is often revision surgery, which removes some or all of the original implant and replaces it with a new one. It’s a complex procedure that can be further complicated by damage to the surrounding bone, which makes it a challenge to fix the new implant in place.

GMK Revision

Medacta International has used 3D printing to develop a solution to the problem of damaged bone. The company’s 3DMetal Tibial Cones, which were recently given FDA clearance, are meant to provide structural support wherever there is bone deficiency, allowing the new implant to be firmly fixed in place. They’re indicated for use with Medacta’s other knee products, particularly its GMK Revision and GMK Hinge Knee systems, as well as the GMK tibial extension stems and offset. Recently, the first surgeries to use the technology were performed by Kevin Hardt, MD and David Manning, MD of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago and Dragan Jeremic, MD of St. Vincenz Krankenhaus Brakel in Brakel, Germany.

“Medacta’s 3DMetal Tibial Cones recreate a proximal structural foundation for the intended revision implant by achieving proximal fixation and force transmission in the remaining host bone,” said Dr. Manning.

Dr. Manning, a knee revision specialist, also designed the 3DMetal Tibial Cones.

“The instrumentation was straightforward to use and complementary to my typical revision workflow,” said Dr. Hardt. “I was impressed with the surgical press fit of the implant.”

3DMetal was created by Medacta and is a 3D printed advanced biomaterial that can connect directly to natural bone thanks to an interconnecting pore structure that is similar to cancellous bone. The material’s ability to integrate with existing bone greatly expands surgeons’ abilities in difficult knee revision surgeries, allowing them to firmly connect new implants even if there is complex damage.

“I am very satisfied with this new implant and the result,” said Dr. Jeremic. “From now on, this will be an excellent option for my patients.”

Medacta, which is headquartered in Switzerland, was founded in 1999 for the purpose of developing innovative solutions for people needing joint replacement and spinal surgery. It now has an office in Chicago and has developed a large portfolio of solutions for the spine, knees, hips and shoulders. Medacta is one of a growing number of companies using 3D printing to create materials that integrate better with the body than traditional materials do, that fit better, and that are overall more comfortable and lead to better surgical outcomes.

“It is Medacta’s mission to be a partner for our surgeons, even in the most challenging scenarios,” said Francesco Siccardi, Executive Vice President of Medacta International. “With our innovative 3DMetal technology, we have extended the range of advanced solutions for our surgeons and we will continue to do so in the future.”

Medacta will formally launch its 3DMetal Tibial Cones in the US at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting in March of 2018.

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