Features October 2010 Issue

New Joint Replacements Made to Order

Patient-specific technology may help surgeons improve the alignment and, potentially, the longevity of artificial knees.

If the wheels on your vehicle are out of alignment, they won’t operate as smoothly and they’ll wear out faster. The same principle applies to total knee replacement. A common reason why knees and other artificial joints wear out prematurely and require revision surgery is that they aren’t correctly aligned when first implanted. Complicating the process is that one-size-fits-all doesn’t apply to joint replacements, so surgeons must use anatomical landmarks to cut the surrounding bones and properly position each implant component.

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