Every knee is different. If a knee joint needs to be replaced, one option is to use customised, personalised knee prosthetics. These are made with the help of a 3D printer. This involves adapting the implant to the knee rather than the knee to the implant. This often gives patients more stability and mobility after the operation than standard prostheses, and in particular a joint that feels more natural.
Knee pain is not inevitable. If you are experiencing joint damage or osteoarthritis in the knee, one possible treatment is a surgically implanted artificial joint.
When using a conventional prosthesis, the knee is adapted to the prosthesis. In the case of personalised prosthetics (customised joint replacement), it is the other way around: The implant is adapted to the patient’s knee using three-dimensional computer models. This is an advantage because knee joints come in all different shapes. An individualised knee prosthesis produced with the aid of a 3D printer therefore fits the patient’s knee perfectly. This means that, unlike with conventional prostheses, the surgeon does not need to compromise between stability and mobility. This can be felt by the patient after the operation during everyday activities such as walking on uneven surfaces, climbing stairs or during more extreme exertion such as climbing or playing tennis.
If it is determined during the medical examinations that an individualised knee prosthesis is a sensible option for you, a CT scan of your knee joint is taken prior to the operation. These tomographic images are used to produce (with the aid of a 3D printer) an individualised prosthesis, which is then delivered to the hospital shortly before the surgery. Customised knee prostheses are made from the same materials as conventional prostheses, which have proven themselves over many years.
The most frequently asked questions about customised knee prostheses from a 3D printer
A personalised knee prosthesis makes sense for people who have asymmetrical knees with crooked joint lines. This cannot be seen with the naked eye but on an X-ray. People who are not completely satisfied with a conventional prosthesis on their one side and now need to undergo surgery on their other side typically also experience good results.
The customised prosthesis is adapted to the knee and not the knee to the prosthesis. The patient also benefits from more stability in many cases, as the ligaments are left untouched, especially in the case of partial prostheses. With standard prostheses, the surgeon often has to compromise between stability and mobility, because the shape of the prosthesis does not perfectly match the anatomy of the knee joint. This compromise is not longer necessary with customised prostheses, as the patient’s knee is replicated. This can be felt by the patient afterwards during everyday activities such as walking on uneven surfaces, climbing stairs or during more extreme exertion such as climbing or playing tennis. A further advantage is that the knee feels natural again soon after the operation and not like a foreign body.
It takes six to a maximum of eight weeks, from the planning stage through to the operation. Prior to the operation, we take a CT scan of the knee joint. These tomographic images are used to produce an individualised prosthesis with the aid of a 3D printer, which is then delivered to the hospital shortly before the surgery. The personalised artificial joints are created in close collaboration between orthopaedic surgeons, radiologists, engineers and software developers.
For patients with supplementary health insurance, the insurance company will cover all costs. We will be happy to assist you in answering all your questions in this regard.