A SOUTHAMPTON surgeon can now replace a patient’s knee with an exact replica using state-of-the-art 3D printing.

Amir Qureshi, a consultant knee and limb reconstruction surgeon, is one of a few specialists in the UK using Conformis iFit image-to-implant technology.

It converts a CT scan of a patient’s knee into a 3D model and then designs a unique implant - all within six weeks.

With conventional “off-the-shelf” implants to treat osteoarthritis, some patients can experience persistent pain or restricted movement.

Using the customised iTotal design means tailored measurements eliminate sizing compromises and follows the shape of and natural joint lines of each individual’s knee to increase movement and avoid instability.

Analysis of the implant in some centres has shown 95 per cent patient satisfaction rates compared to 80 to 85 per cent with standard replacements, while initial data suggests a 60 per cent reduction in early repeat surgery compared to the national average.

“The goal of any knee replacement is to be pain-free, restore natural motion and for patients to return to their everyday activities,” explained Mr Qureshi, who is based at University Hospital Southampton and operates privately at Spire Southampton and Wessex Nuffield hospitals.

“These custom-made knee implants are designed specifically to match every aspect of a patient’s natural knee, delivering better outcomes and higher patient satisfaction.”

He added: “I am always looking to improve the options available to my patients and provide the best possible outcomes - this technology allows me to provide the closest replacement to patients’ natural knees which is extremely exciting.”

Procedures using the Conformis implant are currently only available privately.