WHAT IS PATIENT-SPECIFIC KNEE ARTHROPLASTY?
Since the introduction of total knee replacement procedures with artificial prostheses in 1968, the orthopedics medical field has made notable advances thanks to the continuous improvement of components and surgical techniques.
After the first revolutionary surgical procedure, the main focus of researchers and surgeons centered on the decrease of failure rates and extension of the life of implants.
Regardless of the reliability of conventional arthroplasty surgical procedures–in relation to the patient’s surgeon, implants and clinical picture–patient-specific instrumentation (PSI) knee replacement surgery, prevails as the most modern technique in existence, increasing success rates by the manufacturing of patient-specific anatomical knee implants. Patient-specific knee arthroplasty, if deemed necessary, is ideal for those suffering from advanced arthritis (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, advanced post-traumatic arthritis etc.).
In the preoperative screening phase, CT and MRI scans of the hip, knee and ankle joint are acquired by the orthopedist and sent to a specialized medical centre abroad, in order for the anatomy of the lower extremity, as a cohesive anatomical structure, to be examined and form references for a surgical plan. The surgeon determines the final stage of the preoperative planning by communicating back the surgical plan to manufacture the preformed knee implant with custom positioning guidelines. The implant is an accurate bone remodeling of the patient’s joint and compatible only to the patient’s specific anatomy.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES COMPARED TO OTHER CONTEMPORARY TECHNIQUES?
Compared to navigator (assisted surgery) and robotic-arm assisted surgery, the prevalence of patient-specific knee arthroplasty derives from the technology-based study of individual joints before surgery. The templating measurements of the knee implant are preoperatively finalized (shortening surgical time), whereas the absence of customized sensors, measuring the lower extremity as anatomical structure for mechanical axis restoration, contributes to smaller incisions.
Accurate measurements of the mechanical axis of the lower extremity and a patient-oriented study of the individual joints based on different personalized parameters (age, sex, level of physical activity etc.) aid in determining the accurate positioning of the implants, and in creating the right circumstances for extending the life of implants after arthroplasty. Small surgical incisions prompt minimized scarring during surgery, reduced blood loss as well as postoperative pain, and recovery period that doesn’t exceed two days.
Another postoperative benefit of patient-specific instrumentation knee arthroplasty is the ideal custom fitting of knee implants that cater to exceptional knee mobility, therefore an accelerated rehabilitation time and return to daily routine.