ORTHOPAEDIC KNEE SURGEON
When a patient decides to undertake a total knee replacement, it is possible to have the instruments for the procedure specifically customised in terms of the design and build for that patient's very specific knee. The cutting guides are custom built for the knee being operated on, and would not fit on any other knee.
In knee replacement surgery the largest variable in controlling patient outcome is the angles at which the implant is inserted. The more accurate the surgery is in terms of, the angles of cuts made in the bone, the better the patient's function and the less the pain. Thus the more accurate the surgery the better the surgical outcomes.
With customised total knee replacement, a 3D MRI scan image is taken of the patient's knee together with a long leg (alignment) X-Ray, prior to the surgery.
This digital image is then used to create customised cutting blocks for that patient's specific knee. With the relevant software the perfect angles for that patient's knee can be decided and set prior to surgery.
Once I am satisfied with the measurements, the cutting templates are then produced in the United States. These are shipped to South Africa for the surgery. At surgery the knee is opened and the implants then fitted perfectly onto the patient's knee as they are custom made for that knee. With these in place the perfect cuts can be made and the implant inserted.
This decrease the number of steps involved and saves significant surgical time which decreases postoperative pain and scarring and increases recovery rate.
It also allows for much more accurate insertion of the total knee and therefore better short and longterm results.