GZA now manufactures artificial knee joints | Antwerp

GZA now manufactures artificial knee joints |  Antwerp

AntwerpGZA Hospitals has launched a new technology for custom knee prostheses, which takes into account the specific anatomy of each patient. For example, the prosthesis is adapted to the knee rather than the other way around, so that the prosthesis feels more natural. GZA Ziekenhuizen is the first hospital in Flanders to work with this technology.

Scientific publications indicate that up to 20% of patients who undergo total knee replacement are not satisfied with the outcome of the operation. Despite advances in techniques, materials, and ideas, this percentage remains unchanged. One reason for this is the lack of respect for the specific anatomy of each individual patient.

“Using the most common surgical technique, the operated leg is straightened,” explains Dr. Bart Stoets, orthopedic knee surgeon at GZA Hospitals. As a result, the direction of the joint line changes and the ligaments on the inside and outside of the knee twist in an abnormal way. This gives the knee such an abnormal sensation that we can not talk about a “new knee”, but about an “artificial knee”. Furthermore, each patient has a unique knee in terms of shape and pivots. Using a standard knee prosthesis, the best-fitting prosthesis is implanted, but not a prosthesis unique to the patient.”

3D plan

Dr. So Stuyts turned to an innovative technology that takes into account the specific anomaly and the unique anatomy of each patient: “With this procedure, we perform an additional examination after the diagnosis is made. We work with an orthopedic company in Switzerland, sending the images for 3D analysis. Based on this analysis. They create a 3D plan for the procedure, then send it back for approval by the surgeon. The prosthetics and individual instruments are then manufactured and shipped to the hospital for implantation.”

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Since the original axes and the shape of the knee are taken into account, this type of prosthesis looks more natural. The prosthesis is adapted to the knee and not vice versa, so that the chance of obtaining a better result after the operation is much greater.

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