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New Knee Replacement Provides Custom Fit


Lucy Andrews

Orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. John Noble Jr. with Center for Orthopaedics, is using innovative new technology called Visionaire Patient Match, to perform patient-customized knee replacement surgery.

Visionaire, developed by Smith & Nephew Orthopaedics, allows Dr. Noble to provide patients with a knee replacement procedure that is engineered specifically for their knee anatomy. “Every person’s knee joint has subtle differences in shape and contour,” Dr. Noble explains. “Traditional surgical instruments have been one-size-fits-all, even though each individual’s anatomy is inherently unique. This technology enables us to account for those differences before the surgery even begins. Instead of adjusting the patient’s joint terrain during surgery to accommodate the new knee, we are able to use new technology during surgical pre-planning to customize surgical equipment and map a plan specifically for each patient’s anatomy. This improves our efficiency during surgery, reducing the time spent under anesthesia.”

Lucy Andrews was one of Dr. Noble’s first Visionaire patients. She says she had suffered with grinding pain in her knee for months caused by arthritis. “It had gotten so bad that I couldn’t walk very far, bend down or carry anything when I was walking. Once Dr. Noble told me I was a candidate for the new technique, I felt really good about it. It made sense to me that a joint replacement procedure designed just for me would work better than a standard surgery.”

Each patient’s MRI and X-ray images are used to design custom cutting blocks and single-use surgical instrumentation before the surgery. During surgery, the Visionaire system’s computer-guided technology is used to precisely position the new knee. This reduces the risk of misalignment, which is always a concern in joint replacement surgery.

Dr. Noble was one of the first surgeons in the country, and is one of only a few in the state, to use Visionaire, which is the only FDA-approved system of its kind. He first became interested in this type of customized surgical procedure three years ago when he was invited to attend Ignite, a national focus group conducted by Smith & Nephew to allow leading experts in orthopaedics to exchange ideas and provide input to help shape the future of joint replacement innovation.

“The Visionaire technology is truly groundbreaking,” says Dr. Noble. “It gives the surgeon peace of mind in alignment accuracy, and because the technology delivers pre-sized and pre-aligned instruments, time in surgery decreases significantly. For patients, that means a potentially reduced risk of complications, shorter recovery time and improves the longevity of the joint.”

Andrews, now three months post-surgery, couldn’t be happier with her new knee. “I’m walking like I never had anything done. It works way better than my old knee and I’m back to doing all the things I couldn’t do before.”

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