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Local Surgeon First in Area to Utilize Signature™ Personalized Patient Care System

Written by Shawn Palmer, MD on September 16, 2013

Dr. Shawn W. Palmer of the Midwest Bone & Joint Institute recently became one of the first surgeons in the Chicagoland area to perform total knee replacement surgery utilizing the Signature™ Personalized Patient Care System.

The Signature™ system utilizes custom femoral and tibial positioning guides developed from a patient’s MRI. The MRI is used to create a three-dimensional joint reconstruction, which enables the surgeon to preoperatively plan total knee replacement. In the past, surgeon planning has typically been based off of two-dimensional X-rays.

When used in conjunction with the Signature™ system, the Vanguard™ Complete Knee System from Biomet allows surgeons to provide more of a custom fit for patients. The Vanguard™ Complete KneeSystem offers twice the femoral size options of other knee systems, which allows for 90 different size combinations.

Typically, surgeons use X-rays to size components before surgery. During the knee replacement procedure, the surgeon uses an assortment of instruments to verify component sizing and to establish proper positioning and alignment.

With the MRI and Signature™ personalized positioning guides, surgeons have access to a greater level of detail and precision for implant position and alignment before the procedure. This allows for personalized implant positioning and may help enhance surgical efficiency.

The surgical procedure using the Signature™ personalized positioning guides is similar to traditional total knee replacement with a few exceptions. During traditional total knee surgery, a multitude of instruments are used to position the guides for removing damaged bone and cartilage.

Traditional total knee replacement sometimes uses instruments placed inside the femur (thighbone)and/or tibia (shinbone) to assist with implant alignment. Signature™ personalized positioning guides are placed directly onto the femur and tibia, and therefore do not require instrumentation of the bone canal, allowing for a potentially less invasive procedure.

Signature™ personalized positioning guides enable the surgeon to position a reduced number of instruments during surgery to carry-out the preoperative plan.

Dr. Shawn W. Palmer is a board certified orthopedic surgeon. In addition, he completed a year of highly specialized fellowship training in complex reconstructive joint surgery at the world-renowned University of Chicago Bone and Joint Replacement Center.