Signature™ knee replacement surgery from a GP's perspective

I remember helping out with knee replacements during my year as an orthopaedic SHO many years ago. Two hours of heaving around heavy thighs, bashing huge rods down femurs, anxious guessing games about whether the surgeon had got the right angles for the knee components. Surgeons (and patients) would usually have an anxious time waiting to see if they’d got it right. All that seemed miraculously to have come to an end when, a month ago, I watched my first Signature™ knee replacement.

Mr Nikhil Pradhan, a young, bright and friendly knee surgeon, had invited me to Spire Cheshire Hospital to watch one being performed on one of my patients.

First impressions were of relaxed confidence. I was treated like a VIP and introduced to my patient (nice touch). Cups of tea, happy staff and a friendly surgeon all helped the process.

Nikhil was keen to show me all the work that had gone on prior to my patient’s arrival for surgery – and it was clearly very impressive. 3D MRI imaging of the whole lower limbs had charted all the bony landmarks and alignment issues. Instead of using a femoral medullary rod (and all the physiological trauma THAT caused!) to get alignment, an individually tailored plastic jig had been made to simply clip onto the femoral and tibial joint margins. Discussions about angles of cuts had all been made using very clever software using the MRI images.

I was shocked by the ease and slickness of the surgery – all of it facilitated by the accurate placement of the jigs already positioned and designed in the software negotiating process. Fifty minutes from first cut to skin closure, minimal tourniquet time and no medullary rods. Sweet.

I saw my patient again this week, four weeks after surgery. She can already flex her knee beyond 90 degrees, alignment looks good and she’s a happy lady….
I think I’ll refer more.

Dr Allen
Brookfield Surgery, Lymm

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Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Mr Nikhil Pradhan

Click here to visit the profile page of Mr Nikhil Pradhan

Listen to the BBC Radio interview with Nikhil Pradhan

Click here to play Mr Pradhan's BBC Radio interview

Signature™ alignment guides

Signature Knee Replacement at Spire Cheshire Hospital

Fig 1.
Femoral alignment guide
Fig 2.
Tibial alignment guide

Guides are placed on the femur and tibia, the new knee is then positioned to your anatomy.

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)