Surgeon among first in nation to do customized knee replacement

While choosing a high performance knee replacement is central to regaining an active life, a new, technologically-advanced surgical procedure may extend the life of knee implants.

“Visionaire Patient-Matched technology is a remarkable system that uses your MRI and X-ray images to design and build surgical instruments customized for your unique knee anatomy,” said Dr. Kelly Pucek, who is among a few surgeons in the country to do the patient-customized, knee replacement surgery.

“Every person’s knee joint has subtle differences in shape and contour, but traditional surgical instruments that are used to place knee implants are one-size-fits-all.”

Traditionally, Dr. Pucek explained, an orthopedic surgeon spends time during the procedure adapting to the patient’s knee “terrain” in order to achieve the proper placement of the implant.

“Misalignment is the leading cause of early implant failure, and it also can cause pain and instability.”

With the Visionaire technology, he added, the orthopedic surgeon comes to the operating room equipped with instruments engineered exclusively for the patient’s knee by Smith & Nephew, an innovator in orthopedic implants.

The computer-guided precision of Visionaire Patient-Matched technology also assists the surgeon in choosing the correct implant size that matches the dimensions of the patient’s knee and helps the surgeon accurately place the knee implant.

“When possible, I use minimally-invasive surgical techniques with the Visionaire instruments, which helps patients return to their active lifestyles faster,” Dr. Pucek said.

“Minimally-invasive surgery leaves a smaller scar, and patients may experience less pain during recovery than they would with a standard surgical approach to total knee replacement. The Visionaire system also eliminates multiple steps from the surgery, reducing the patient’s time under anesthesia.”

Any surgery has potential risks, Dr. Pucek said, and recovery depends on factors like activity level, weight and age.

“Still,” he added, “the new patient-customized technology is an important advance in knee replacement surgery. If you need the surgery, ask your doctor which implant is right for you.”