Mercy's Dr. Marc Hungerford Discusses Use of 3D Printer Technology to Create Tailor-Made Knee Implants

August 10, 2015


More and more, 3D technology is being integrated into almost every aspect of our lives.

There are 3D movies, video games and televisions, and now, that technology has made its way into knee replacement surgeries.

Tina Beccio is one person who has benefited from such technology. She had suffered with constant pain in both knees for years.

"Sleeping at night was the worst," Beccio said. "Turning over in bed was very hard. A lot of sleepless nights."

After consulting with Dr. Marc Hungerford, Chief, Division of Orthopedics with Mercy, Beccio decided to have bilateral knee replacement surgery. Doctors had her implants made utilizing 3D imaging.

According to Dr. Hungerford, unlike traditional knee implants that are standard sizes and have to be adjusted to fit the patient during surgery, 3D implants are a precise fit.

"The difference with 3D surgery is we can actually measure the patient pre-operatively by getting a CAT scan, sending that data up to a factory and having a custom-made part that fits the patient perfectly," Dr. Hungerford said.

"So you make the 3D CAT scan and then you're able to produce these custom-made jigs that will fit perfectly on that bone and help the surgeon make the cuts in the drill holes that need to be made. The better the implant fits, and the more closely it resembles the patient's native anatomy, the better function they're going get."

Just weeks after her surgery, Beccio said she can already tell her health is improving.

"I can bend over and pick up things," she said. "I'm able to go up and down the steps at a normal gait, so I feel like I really made a big accomplishment."

To view Mercy orthopedic surgeon Dr. Marc Hungerford’s interview regarding 3D knee implants and knee replacement, click here.

About Mercy

Founded in 1874 in Downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed, acute care, university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a high-performing Maryland hospital (U.S. News & World Report); has achieved an overall 5-Star quality, safety, and patient experience rating (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services); is A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade); and is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet™ hospital. Mercy Health Services is a not-for-profit health system and the parent company of Mercy Medical Center and Mercy Personal Physicians.

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