Mercy’s Dr. Marc Hungerford Discusses Use of 3-D Printer Technology to Create Tailor-Made Knee Implants
More and more, 3-D technology is being integrated into almost every aspect of our lives.
There are 3-D 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 3-D imaging.
According to Dr. Hungerford, unlike traditional knee implants that are standard sizes and have to be adjusted to fit the patient during surgery, 3-D implants are a precise fit.
"The difference with 3-D 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 3-D 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."
View Mercy orthopedic surgeon Dr. Marc Hungerford’s interview regarding 3-D knee implants and knee replacement.
Founded in 1874, Mercy Medical Center is a university-affiliated medical facility named one of the top 100 hospitals in the U.S. by Thomson-Reuters with a national reputation for women’s health. Mercy is home to the nationally acclaimed Weinberg Center for Women’s Health and Medicine as well as the $400+ million, 20-story Mary Catherine Bunting Center. For more information visit Mercy online at www.mdmercy.com, Facebook, Twitter or call 1-800-MD-MERCY.
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