When you look at the complex array of options available to the healthcare consumer it is no surprise people are confused about what to do. Thankfully, there have been two major developments in the technology of Total Knee Replacement that have revolutionized the art of care:
Smith and Nephew realized long ago that they wanted to go in a different direction with their technology after developing their CAS (computer assisted surgery) program. They noticed what would be later determined to be true throughout the marketplace that while CAS did improve accuracy of the bony cuts, this did not translate into any improvement in actual survivorship or function. Furthermore, it was very surgeon dependent and increased the complication rates and surgery times. I myself have had to revise several of these “computer knees” because the cuts were just plain wrong.
Therefore, Smith and Nephew began to once again revolutionize the industry by developing the first completely in-house MRI based alignment system…Visionaire.
Knee Replacement is a complex procedure due in part to the balance between bone alignment and soft tissue balancing necessary to create normal biomechanical functioning after surgery. While CAS, when properly performed, improves the former through better bone alignment, it does not at all address the later. Furthermore, rather than adding time to the case and increasing complications such as infection and blood loss found with CAS, they sought a method of reducing these things.
By obtaining an MRI weeks before surgery, the system allows the bone and soft tissue to be evaluated and the proper implant to be selected for each individual patient based on their needs before they are in the operating room. The system then determines the proper position of the implant to not only allow for overall consistently perfect alignment of the limb, but takes into consideration the specific benefits of the implant mechanics and the soft tissue tension to recreate the optimal biomechanics for performance.
The custom generated cutting blocks cut 22 steps out of the normal Knee Replacement procedure thus reducing the length of surgery (reducing infection risk and DVT risk), size of the incision, blood loss, and post operative pain among other benefits. Most patients are home on the second post operative day and I have personally had some leave on the first day after surgery. Recovery time in a properly motivated patient has also been cut in half.
Savannah Bone and Joint was the first practice to bring this revolutionary technology to the area and we are the only ones to offer it to our patients for both the Journey Knee and Legion Knee systems. The next step is to add actual custom knee implants to the custom cutting blocks for the perfect surgical solution for arthritis of the knee.
The biggest problem with knee replacement has been longevity…until now. It has been determined over the past 40 years of joint replacement research that the keys to implant survivorship are implant alignment, implant design, and implant materials. Smith and Nephew has addressed all three…
The CAS system was meant to address the implant alignment and has fallen short of expectations leading to the development of Visionaire.
There are numerous implant designs, each with their own problems, that have been retooled through the time honored tradition of trial and error. However, the Journey knee was designed a different way…with a computer system called Life Mod. Subsequently, Smith and Nephew has put everything they have learned about joint function and mechanics, along with real world knee kinematic data together to design a knee replacement that recreated normal motion and function in a knee.
Furthermore, they took their industry dominant Legion Knee system and did something revolutionary….they added their patented ceramic surface OXINIUM material with their proven Highly Cross-linked Polyethelene to create the “30 year” Verilast knee. It is the only FDA approved implant to make this claim. Using the ability to re-create daily life activities in the laboratory setting, Smith and Nephew tested their Verilast Legion Knee System and found the wear rates to be significantly less than their competitors after 30 years of simulated wear.
In conclusion, whether it is the normal feel of the Journey Knee or the superior wear characteristics of the Verilast Legion Knee, combined with the Visionaire patient matched alignment system, Savannah Bone and Joint can offer a knee replacement experience that is unmatched in the region in regards to function, survivorship and recovery….