First there were generic one-size-fits-all knees. Then Stryker and Gender Solutions developed artificial knees specifically for the unique needs of women. Now if you’re lucky enough to be in Sacramento California, you’ll be among the first in the country to have a prosthesis custom made just for your unique anatomy.
As part of its ongoing commitment to bring breakthrough medical advancements to residents of Elk Grove and the greater Sacramento area, Methodist Hospital has become the first hospital in the United States to offer custom fit total knee replacement with OtisKnee(TM). Using OtisKnee, orthopedic surgeons can for the first time precisely match the size and placement of the implant to the patient’s unique and normal (non-arthritic) knee anatomy.
Developed by California-based OtisMed Corporation in collaboration with Methodist orthopedic surgeon Stephen Howell, M.D., this new “custom fit” approach enables surgeons to preserve more bone and ligaments, allowing for better implant fit and alignment. OtisKnee physicians and patients have reported a quicker and less painful recovery, increased range of motion, a more “natural” feeling knee, and greater ease in performing normal living activities such as golfing, biking and gardening.
“Recent studies and our own experience have shown that no two knees are exactly alike,” said Dr. Stephen Howell, the first orthopedic surgeon in the country to use the new custom fit technique. “With OtisKnee, we’re able to provide a knee replacement that is custom fit to each individual patient, very precisely and consistently. The results I’ve seen to date have been tremendous, with 83 percent of patients walking without a cane at 4 weeks and 70 percent driving their car at four weeks. My OtisKnee patients just get back to their everyday activities sooner than those who have had the traditional surgery.”
The custom fit total knee replacement is achieved in a few steps, before and during surgery. Prior to surgery, an MRI is performed to take very precise measurements of the patient’s arthritic knee. Second, proprietary computer software creates a 3-D image of that knee, and then virtually corrects the deformity to return the knee to its pre-arthritic state. Third, a computerized 3-D image of the implant to be used in the patient’s surgery is then Shape-Matched(TM) to the anatomically correct virtual knee model. This helps determine the correct implant size and placement, based on the patient’s own normal (non-arthritic) knee anatomy. Last, using all of this information, special cutting guides are created for the surgeon to use during the procedure. These patient-specific cutting guides, which are accurate to within a few millimeters, indicate to the surgeon exactly where to make bone cuts so that the knee replacement is customized for the individual patient.
“The first day after my surgery, while I was still in the hospital, I was able to walk about 100 yards to the nurse’s station by myself with a walker. And now just a few months from surgery, I can go up and down stairs, play with my grandchildren and ride my bike, all with out pain,” said Ann Coleman of Newcastle, Calif., who had one custom fit knee replacement in May of 2006 and another in October of 2006. “My physical therapist was completely amazed at the progress I made, saying that she had never seen a knee function like my custom fit knee.”