Tuesday, November 29, 2011
"Customized" knee replacement
There are already “male” and “female” knee assemblages. Now, docs have invented the Signature Knee.
The Signature Knee is still a metal-on-metal replacement joint, but one crafted to the patient’s individual knee structure.
Before, docs did not know what they would find inside the knee, so they had to have several sizes available.
Now, the doctor and an engineer look over the patient’s MRI or CT scan and calculate the best places to drill into the femur. These plans then go to a manufacturer in Belgium where a model of the knee is built with a laser.
It takes the doc less time, and the savings offset the cost.
Some patients walk the same day.
I do think much of medicine will be more individualized—genetic tests to see which drugs will be most effective and so on. This sounds like a step in that direction.