3D printed knee implants are revolutionizing traditional knee replacement surgery, making knee replacement surgeries less painful and offering a faster recovery process.
Dr. Wallace Huff at the Bluegrass Orthopaedics in Lexington has been using the 3D modeling technology for over a year. He adds that the new method offers a quicker recovery to his patients.
Teddie Staley is not a woman to be immobilized. She is a very active woman. Teaching preschool, camping, church activities, and traveling with her granddaughters are just a few parts of her busy and active lifestyle. But when her knees started to give way, they threatened to also dampen her lifestyle and slow down the active ways she had always known.
Teddie had already gone through traditional knee surgery for one knee when she realized it was time for surgery on the other knee as well. Teddie was faced with the prospect of the downtime that comes with having major surgery, as well as the recovery involved. But for her second knee replacement, she turned to Dr. Wallace Huff, and was deemed to be a perfect candidate for the new procedure that uses 3D printing technology. Instead of using the traditional “one size fits all” knee implants, doctors used a Conformis knee replacement on Teddie –a replacement that uses a patented technology called iFit to convert CT data into custom knee replacement implants that are designed as a perfect fit for each patient.
After surgery, Teddie said that she could tell the difference immediately. With her first generic knee replacement, she spent four weeks in a hospital bed. With the 3D printed one, she only spent one night in the hospital bed. While there was still pain involved, it was less than the first surgery, and she was back on her feet faster. With her new knee she is back to being as active as ever.
Dr. Wallace Huff said that the procedure takes about 45 minutes to an hour to complete. He also said that patients will notice these replacements last longer.