Parkview: 3D-printed knee implants will help patients get back on their feet

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A doctor with Parkview Health became the first orthopedic surgeon in Indiana to start using implants made with 3D printing technology for knee replacement procedures. The implants will be custom made for each patient.

On Tuesday, Dr. William Berghoff of Ortho NorthEast spoke with NewsChannel 15 about the procedure using the new technology, known as ConforMIS iTotal® knee implants.

“Having the ability to use a custom knee implant for each of my patients that is better sized and aligns better with each patient’s unique anatomy dramatically improves the overall experience,” said William Berghoff, MD, orthopedic surgeon, Ortho NorthEast. “I feel this is truly an industry game-changer. These implants allow for a more natural feeling knee replacement allowing my patients to function much like they could before their surgery.”

Parkview Health claims that by using the custom-made 3D-printed implants, patients should also experience less pain and swelling and therefore recover more quickly.

“The patients are feeling like this is their normal knee again,” Dr. Berghoff said. “It’s like it’s not an artificial knee. Having done this for 22 years I can tell you, there are three people that I’ve done this knee on who have had previous knees, and they’ve noticed a difference in their recovery and improvements between the two. That’s encouraging.”

Dr. Berghoff said patients who need knee replacements will have a knee implant design based on a CT scan of their current knee. A 3D mold of the patients knee will then be printed minus the imperfections that cause the problems. This not only gives patients a brand new knee, but one that is custom to their body and will minimize rehab and recovery time.

“It’s actually better than their old knee,” Berghoff said. “What’s interesting is, the CT scan takes their knee, it could be worn out, and then the computer reestablishes the worn part. They’re getting their knee back again. The actual, normal knee they had years ago, is recreated.”

Watch the video in this article to see how the knee-replacement surgery works.

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