Modular Partial Knee Replacements
There is growing demand for surgical procedures to remedy pain caused by early stage arthritis in the knee, but due to physical wear and osteolysis, implants are not expected to last a patient’s life time. Younger, active individuals wanting to maintain their lifestyle or overweight people, who wear out their joints quicker, pose a particular challenge to orthopaedic surgeons.
The solution is to use smaller, partial implant devices that conserve natural tissue and bone. Conserving natural tissue and bone enables more natural joint movement, a return to normal daily activities and it improves the success of any future revision operation. However, current choices of bone and soft tissue conserving implants are limited. Those that do exist have historically only achieved modest success, mainly due to technical difficulties, and as a consequence surgeons prefer total knee replacement for all patients because it has been easier to achieve consistent results. However, this procedure is disadvantageous as it requires the removal of excessive amounts of normal bone and healthy ligaments which renders future revision difficult.
The set of partial knee replacements developed by researchers features small components that can be inserted through tiny incisions via Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS). MIS causes less tissue trauma and allows more speedy recovery and quicker discharge from hospital. Uniquely, the components target only those areas affected by cartilage erosion and wear. The specific requirements of an individual joint can be addressed by selecting a certain combination of components or even manufacturing a patient specific ‘set’. The implants are design-optimized to mimic normal anatomy and to conserve both bone and soft tissue.
Patent Status A patent application has been filed and further validation and optimization of the technique using clinical data is ongoing. Companies interested in licensing the technology or collaborating in a development programme are invited to contact the owner.
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