3-D printing is revolutionizing the medical field including helping Connecticut doctors with knee replacements
“Technology finally caught up with our thought process,” Dr. Amit Lahav, of Orthopedic Health in Milford, said.
Lahav said he is using this new, state-of-the-art technology for knee replacement surgery.
“This knee is made to fit you,” Lahav said. “We don't have to fit a knee to you.”
This first step to creating a personalized implant begins with a CAT scans of your hip, knee and ankle.
From there, the CAT scans is transferred to the 3-D printer and that information is used to build the actual prosthesis, as well as the "cutting blocks".
“These cutting blocks tell me where I should make the cuts for your knee,” Lahav said.
The implant material consists of cobalt chrome, a plastic called polyethylene. That's so people are not dealing with the pain of metal-on-bone.
“It's a thinner type of prosthesis and its lesser invasive as well,” Lahav said. “We don't use any big instrumentation that goes up and down the canals.”
That's because the cutting blocks allow the doctor to see precisely where to make the cuts for the surgery.
“It almost feels like it's so much...stronger,” Greg Rosen said.
Rosen had his 3-D knee replacement done in March and couldn't believe how fast he was on his feet.
“First day of surgery, they have you up and walking around,” Rosen said.
Three days later, he was home and began the prescribed three to six weeks of physical therapy.
“You have to get motion going right away,” Lahav said. “The faster you work on that motion, the easier it becomes.”
As for the cost of this surgery, Lahav said most insurance companies cover it.
“It generally costs the same thing as a standard knee right now,” Lahav said.
The implant is sized perfectly to the patient's anatomy versus the so-called "off-the-shelf" implants that are limited in sizes and shapes.
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