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The Orthopaedic Center (TOC) of Huntsville, Ala., one of the state’s leading centers in innovative technology for orthopaedics, spine surgery and sports medicine for more than 30 years, is now offering the most cutting-edge knee replacements available in the U.S.
The technology is called iUni, and Dr. Stanton Davis of the TOC sports team is one of only two surgeons in Alabama currently using it. With the new iUni technology, patients are fitted with knee replacements that conform precisely to each person’s unique anatomy.
“It’s the biggest advancement in knee technology that I have seen in my years of practice,” said Dr. Davis, who has worked with sports teams and professional athletes from the San Francisco 49ers along with several U.S. Olympic athletes.
iUni is personalized knee resurfacing implants designed exclusively by ConforMIS of Burlington, Mass. It is specifically designed for people ages 30-50 that may have had a meniscetomy and are having pain that interferes with their active lifestyles, whether it is work or recreational.
Using a proprietary technology called iFit (the I stands for individualized), ConforMIS creates implants that are designed to mimic the natural shape of the patient’s knee. The patient’s own imaging date is collected by the hospital in the form of a CT scan and sent to ConforMIS specialists, who use proprietary design software to create a 3D model of a patient’s knee. The 3D model is then used to create a partial (iUni) or total (iTotal) knee implant for each individual.
The design has been awarded the silver medal in the “Implant and Tissue-Replacement Products” category of the 2012 Medical Design Excellence Awards competition, which recognizes advancements in medical product design and engineering that improves the quality of healthcare delivery.
Davis said his patients are noticeably happier with the results.
“The implant is delivered to me designed specifically to match the unique anatomy of each of my patients, allowing me to actually require less cutting than a traditional total knee implant and therefore preserve more of the patient’s bone,” Dr. Davis said.
iUni is designed for patients with damage to only one compartment of the knee, avoiding a total joint replacement. In traditional replacement procedures, the surgeon matches the patient’s original knee size using standard sizes. The surgeon then selects a size that most closely resembles the size of the patient and makes the necessary adjustments during the procedure.
Using iFit technology and information from a standard CT scan, the process starts well before surgery with the matching and measuring taking place ahead of time. ConforMIS creates a personalized implant designed to resurface just the affected compartment. Personalized implants offer unique advantages versus traditional knee replacement options. Because each ConforMIS device is created specifically for each patient, the implants exactly mirror the surface contours of an individual’s knee, providing far more bone preservation. The implants also provide an anatomic fit with less bone cutting than traditional options.
Dr. Davis is board certified in orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine. He has a special interest in shoulder and knee surgery with advanced training in arthroscopic labral and rotar cuff repairs of the shoulder, knee ligament reconstruction and cartilage transplantation. He currently applies the latest techniques to reduce the pain of surgery and help patients return to peak performance faster. He has served as team physician and consultant for notable professional and collegiate sports teams.