Dr. Burkhardt: From a surgeon’s perspective, having an implant that is patient-specific has got some distinct advantages over traditional implants. Traditional implants are manufactured in volume and in order to do that, they have to be manufactured to be placed with geometric cuts. When you have a custom implant, you can utilize conservative cuts because the implant is made exactly for that patient. And so, you do not have to make a geometric pattern that relies on a larger cut, you can contour the bone and be much more conservative with what you resect to allow the implant to fit.
Can you describe the operating room workflow using the ConforMIS setup?
Dr. Burkhardt: The disposable instruments and the implants all come in one kit, and on top of that, the inventory is already in your room. So, you are already pre-sized, you are already pre-engineered before you even do the case. Traditionally, you have a room full of implants and you’d have to verify or identify your size intra-operatively and the side that you are doing and then one of the staff members would have to go pull the stock, bring it into the room, and then re-verify everything. And then, it would be open and brought to the field. With an implant that is patient-specific, you basically use a new kit every time you do a new case.
How has the ConforMIS patient-specific implant made a difference in your practice?
Dr. Burkhardt: My practice is largely word-of-mouth referral, so I rely on my patients’ outcomes to build my practice. And, this technology has really had a large effect on that. I’ve seen a lot of growth from outside my area. I think I’ve had referrals from five different states surrounding the state that I work in. And these have been straight from patients that I have operated on around my area who have picked up the phone and called friends or family or people that they know; they are excited about their outcome, they want to share with them how well they did and they want their friends and family to have the same experience. So, that’s been pretty impressive to have people that are willing to either fly or drive all the way over to where I am to get in touch with the technology that we are currently using.
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