Recon

Designing Joint Implants That Enhance Patient Satisfaction

Wendy Lyons Sunshine – July 15, 2016

 

Board certified orthopaedic surgeon Gregory M. Martin, MD performs more total knee replacements than any other operation at his Boynton Beach, Florida, practice. Over the years, he began to realize he could do a great job in surgery, make cuts properly, insert implants properly, and have everything look great, with perfect X rays—and still have an unhappy patient.

“The studies are real,” he said. “I see it in my own patients all week long and in the second opinions I give: patients who have had total knee replacements tell me they wonder why they did it. Their knees still hurt, it didn’t meet their expectations; they say they felt better before surgery.”

With over one million patients undergoing total hip and knee replacements in the U.S. each year, patient satisfaction has become a significant issue. What’s more, data from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)indicates that patients electing total joint replacement are getting younger, too. Today, those who undergo the procedure are nearly as likely to be under the age of 65 years old as over it.

Younger patients heal faster than their older counterparts, but they are more likely to outlast their medical devices and require a second, revision surgery. Their active lifestyle puts extra strain on implants and cement fixatives. These factors compound the typical post-operative risks of joint squeaking, pain, infection, inflammation, and implant rejection.

In hopes of improving satisfaction and outcomes for his patient base, Martin decided to use ConforMIS’ entirely customized joint replacement system. “It was a decision I made, and a shift for me,” he said. With ConforMIS, the entire process is individualized based on the patient’s CT scans: using 3D printing technology, jigs and cuts are individualized along with the actual implant size and shape.

 

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Drue De Angelis

Drue is Managing Partner for The De Angelis Group, Executive Search firm exclusively for the Ortho & Spine industry.

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