The newest approach to total knee replacement and an alternative option to the traditional knee replacement is the custom fit total knee replacement system.
Just as the name implies, the knee implant is designed and customized specifically for an individual patient. Similar to the traditional knee implant, the custom fit option uses the three main knee replacement components:
- The tibial piece that sits on top of the shin bone,
- The femoral piece that fits on the end of the thigh bone, and
- The spacer that sits in between the two implants.
The primary difference with the custom fit knee replacement is that the process starts several weeks before surgery where an MRI scan is performed on the patient’s arthritic knee to capture detailed images that allow the surgeon to create a 3-dimensional (3-D) image of the knee using special software.
With the 3-D image, the surgeon is able to take exact measurements of the knee, which allows for pre-operative identification of exact bone cutting guides for location and angle. In addition, the 3-D mapping enables the surgeon to virtually correct any misalignment and return the knee to its pre-arthritic condition all in advance of surgery day.
Benefits of the Custom Fit Knee Replacement
- Reduced trauma to the knee by allowing for precise removal of damaged bone and preservation of more healthy bone.
- Allows for a more optimal fit and acceptance of the knee implant.
- Reduced surgical and anesthesia time because less work has to be done at the time of surgery to determine fit and positioning of the implant.
- For the long-term, with a more accurate fit, the intent is that the implant will last longer by not wearing out as quickly.