New knee replacement surgery in Lexington using 3D printing

More than 600,000 people have knee replacements every year in this country.
With an aging population that number is only expected to grow.
A new procedure using 3D imaging is helping get people up and moving faster and as WKYT's Amber Philpott reports one Lexington doctor is among the first in the country to perform it.

Teddie Staley is a woman on the go. At home in McCreary county she teaches pre-schoolers, is active in church and lives for her grandkids.

"We do a lot of camping, we went to Mexico this year, we had a cruise. I went to NYC with my one granddaughter," said Teddie Staley.

Bad knees threatened to stop Staley in her tracks.
Staley had one knee replaced and realized it was time for surgery on the other, she turned to Dr. Wallace Huff at Bluegrass Orthopaedics in Lexington.

"Knee replacements are a pretty common operation these days especially with the baby boomer generation," said Dr. Wallace Huff.

For her second knee, Staley learned she was a candidate for a new procedure using 3-D imaging.

The traditional method uses a one size fits all, pre-formed replacement that is adjusted to the patient.

The new technology takes a 3D map of a patient's knee and allows for an implant to be made specifically for each patient.

" So rather than taking different sizes off the shelf and picking best fit then you have the exact fit," said Dr. Huff.

Dr. Huff has been using this new method for a year now.

"I've really seen patients get better a little bit quicker than the average knee replacement. I think its because the knee is a little more stable, it feels better."

The knee is a complex joint, the Conformis replacement Dr. Huff uses is designed to mimic a knee's natural shape and movement.

Staley could tell the difference immediatly.

"With the other I spent about four weeks in a hospital bed at home, I spent one night with this one. With the Conformis I was in my bed the next night, said Staley.

Staley had little pain and was on her feet much faster than her first surgery.

With her new knee she is still on the go!

"I teach pre-schoolers I have to be," said Staley.

Dr. Huff says the procedure takes about 45 minutes to an hour to complete.

He says patients will notice these replacements last longer.

For more information on this procedure and Bluegrass Orthopaedics click on the links below.

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