From 3D glasses to 3D knees

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SHELTON – From 3D glasses to 3D printing, now 3D is making its way into the operating room.

Doctors perform about 600,000 knee replacement surgeries every year in the U.S. and now patients have more options than ever before.

Chuck Ernst is one of those patients.  Last year, he was in a lot of pain.

Part of his bone was dying, cutting off the blood supply to his knee.

He says he first noticed the pain while working outside, but then it never went away.

After doing some research and consulting his doctor, he decided the best option was 3D knee replacement surgery.

“I’ve been an engineer all my life. So it made a lot of sense,” says Ernst.

“They custom make an implant for that patient, it would not fit anybody else,” explains Dr. Fred Davis, with Mason General Hospital.

If a patient is a good fit for this type of surgery, they get a 3D cat scan.

Experts then make a model of the knee, specific to that patient and the ship it back to the surgeon with specific instructions.

“Just go look around at people’s noses, everyone has different shape nose, everyone has a different size knee,” says Dr. Davis.

Chuck’s surgery went as planned and he says it’s been a game changer.

He has a scar on his knee from the surgery but other than that, nothing.  He has no pain and plenty of flexibility.

“I have two beautiful grandchildren that I could not even lift up but now I can carry them both at the same time,” says Ernst.

Ideally the replacement will last a lifetime and the patient should have less pain and a much quicker recovery than a traditional knee replacement.

To learn more about the 3D knee, click this link.

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