Dr. Tait: The biggest disappointments in my career are patients that come to me in pain, and I Just can’t get them out of pain. I try as hard as I can, I do everything that I can possible, and I just don’t get them across the finish line. And that’s a big disappointment for me. They put their trust in me, I’m going to take their knee apart, I’m going to change their lives. And it’s just a huge disappointment and I spend so much time trying to counsel them and comfort them.
When I first saw the design features that were different in the iTotal, I knew that this was the first thing I’d seen in 20 years that held out the hope that we could improve patient satisfaction. With the off-the-shelf knees, I’d occasionally see a patient that did super, we’d see them back at six weeks and they were our rock stars. But, now it’s routine that we have patients that will come back and see me at six weeks post-op. They’re on no pain medication and they’ve achieved their entire range-of-motion arc from zero to 130 degrees. That type of result is frequent if not routine. I’ve been able to just help so many more people get the end result that they wanted. So, that professional disappointment like I’m letting somebody down or not fulfilling their needs, that’s just going away as we adopt the ConforMIS technology.
Do you feel ConforMIS implants have an advantage for patients under the age of 65?
Dr. Tait: So, I am treating younger patients now more comfortably with this technology because I am cutting less bone. Over the lifetime of their knee, we have more options to revise the knee or do it again as they age. And, our younger patients will have a little more pain after an off-the-shelf knee and we’ve always felt they are more sensitive to the sizing mismatch. So, in that group, we are getting a better outcome and I as a surgeon am more confortable talking to them about their pain and advising this type of operation.
Where do you see the efficiencies using the ConforMIS system?
Dr. Tait: Costs of medical care are going to be a big problem we all have to face. So, we’ve got to find a way to be more efficient, give better care, and do it without increasing our costs. So, the reason I say that about efficiency is the ConforMIS allows efficiency at many steps along the way. For instance, we are now using the advantages of computer technology before we even walk in the operating room. That work and time we would spend with the computers and the navigation system- that’s a thing of the past. Also, the trays and the sterilization and the preparation of the room- the knee comes in a box, I as a surgeon use just a couple of sterilized trays and the turnover in the OR time is significantly improved. Also, I spend less time talking to patients about their problems. They just get better and I can spend more time talking with them about other things and see more patients. So, all the way along the line, we are spending less time getting people better, we are spending less money getting people better, and we are doing it more efficiently. So, it’s really every step along the way that this technology has improved our outcomes.
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