This paper describes the surgical technique with a patient-specific resurfacing unicompartmental knee arthroplasty. The patient-specific implant is currently designed on the basis of data from preoperative computed tomography. The implant is provided with a set of patient-specific, disposable cutting jigs. Biomechanical and anatomic axes are factored into jigs from a scan obtained through the hip, knee, and ankle, effectively achieving pre-navigation of the cut planes without the need for a navigation system. The surgical technique is reduced to five simple, reproducible steps. After removing the articular cartilage, the knee is balanced to determine the correct amount of tibial resection; this is followed by femoral preparation, verification of balancing and tibial preparation, and trial and cementing of the implant. The introduction of personalized three-dimensional image-derived resurfacing implants, as well as personalized single-use instrumentation, has the potential to change the common surgical practice of unicompartmental knee arthroplasty. Patient-specific resurfacing implants enable a femoral bone-preserving approach and enhance cortical bone support on the tibia, overcoming critical design limitations of commercial off-the-shelf implants. Patient-specific resurfacing implants can restore normal anatomy, the position of the joint line, and normal joint function, with the potential to result in more normal knee kinematics.
1Orthopedic and Arthritis Center, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 850 Boylston Street, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467. E-mail address: email@example.com