MD - Orthopedic Surgeon Houston
Arthroscopic Solutions - Orthopedic Surgeon Houston
Orthopedic Surgeon Houston

Edwin J. Taegel M.D. F.A.C.S.
Athletics Orthopedics and Knee Center
9180 Katy Freeway Suite 200
Houston, Texas 77055
Phone 713-984-1400
fax 713-984-0544

Custom Fit Total Knee™ Replacement

If you happen to require a total replacement of the knee because more than one part of your knee is worn out, you should take advantage of NEW medical breakthrough technology as of July 2007. The breakthrough is a computer designed, Custom Fit Total Knee Replacement that restores your knee to the way it was before you got arthritis.

Up until now, a surgeon has had to choose what size implant to place in a patient by measuring the size of a patient's bones with various measuring devices while the patient's knee is opened up at surgery. In addition, the surgeon needed to balance the soft tissues properly at surgery after the implant is placed on the bone by doing various releases (cutting the soft tissues) to obtain full extension and flexion of the knee, as well as side-to-side stability. If the ligament balance is not quite right after surgery, the patient may be unable to get their knee fully straight or bent following the surgery. If this occurs, the patient will always walk with a limp. Also, the patient may feel the knee is "too tight", " too loose", "unstable" or not a "natural" feel.

The breakthrough of Custom Fit Knee Replacement technology is that a computer plans the procedure so that the implant size and placement is custom fit to the patient's bones and soft tissues. Ligament releases (or cuts) are rarely, if ever, required, and the knee will obtain a more natural range of motion, both bending and straightening, automatically, as a result of the knee replacement being specifically designed for the patient's own knee anatomy. This is accomplished by obtaining an MRI of the patient's knee a week before surgery to obtain precise digital data as to the exact size dimensions of the patient's arthritic knee. The data is then sent via the internet to California-based OtisMed Corporation, and a virtual digital model of the diseased knee is made by computer. Special computer software then restores the bone shape and the alignment of the knee to what it was before any disease occurred, correcting either the bow leg or knock knee deformity that usually occurs with advanced arthritis. Next, the correct size of implant is Shape-Matched™ to the patient's corrected knee model. Single use, custom designed bone cutting guides are then made for the individual knee. When the new knee is put in, the Custom Fit Knee Replacement feels like the knee felt before the arthritis occurred because the knee is now back in its natural pre-disease alignment. This is what makes this breakthrough in surgery amazing. (see illustration below)


A. Diseased knee with bone spurs
B. MRI of diseased knee
C. Model of normal knee, with disease taken out
D. Mathematical model of corrected knee
E. Shape-Matching™ implant, based on patient's "normal" knee model
F. The OtisMed custom fit cutting guides that will determine the bone cuts need to place the implant correctly in the patient, restoring pre-disease alignment.

This patient-specific Custom Fit Knee Replacement procedure is now a technical advance beyond "Gender Specific" implant design, which only offers smaller and more tapered sizes of "off the shelf" implants, or "Computer Navigation" which only helps align the knee but does not size and place the implant to the bones or balance the soft tissues in order to return the knee to its natural state.

Custom Fit Knee Replacement technology shortens the operating time, which reduces the chance of infection and other systemic complications. The patient's recovery to normal function is enhanced because soft tissue releases (or cutting of the ligaments) are not required, and it is not a struggle for the patient to recover a more full range of motion of the knee because range of motion recovery has been designed into the implantation itself. Instead of taking three to four months to recover from a total replacement, it now appears possible for some patients to return to normal daily activity in as little as six weeks with much greater satisfaction about the surgery.

In summary, Custom Fit Knee Replacement patients and physicians have reported:

  • Greater range of motion, immediately after surgery and throughout recovery
  • Better flexion to allow for more natural kneeling
  • Quicker return to every day activity (driving, shopping, golfing)
  • Shorter operative time, which reduces time under anesthesia
  • Less post-operative pain

For further information please go to


This is the computer-generated image of the patient's knee bones for this case, with the disease taken out, the deformity corrected, and the implant positioned for an ideal result. The patient-specific cutting guides are then made from this design.

Custom Fit Knee™ Replacement and Shape-Match™ are registered trademarks of OtisMed Corporation.


Read a recent article by Dr. Taegel.


Development of the arthroscope has revolutionized surgical treatment of the knee. With the help of this high tech device, today’s joint problems may be diagnosed and treated without the discomfort of large incisions or the inconvenience of extended hospital stays. And it was NASA that made it all more

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