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Personalised virtual surgery for knee arthritis treatment

Monitoring movement at the facility
Monitoring movement at the Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Research Facility.

An innovative project to optimise knee arthritis treatment is being pioneered by a team of Cardiff University researchers, industrial partners and clinicians working together to improve patient outcomes through enhanced surgical planning software.

TOKA® is a collaborative project between 3D Metal Printing (a Bath-based company specialising in Additive Manufacturing) and the Centre of Orthopaedic Biomechanics from the University of Bath.

It provides surgeons with an intuitive 3D planning environment to precisely achieve an optimised knee alignment with minimal risks for patients.

TOKA® has teamed with biomechanics experts from the Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Research Facility at Cardiff University’s School of Engineering and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board to develop surgical planning software for High Tibial Osteotomy (HTO), supported by the Accelerate programme.

HTO is an effective treatment for younger knee osteoarthritis patients. It preserves the native joint by re-aligning the tibia and redistributing the painful high-pressure regions within the knee.

Osteoarthritis affects nearly 9 million people in the UK, with the knee being a commonly affected joint. However, patient outcomes are still dependent on the accuracy of the procedure, and current solutions are a one-size-fits-all approach.

This project aims to develop a bespoke surgical planning tool, enabling surgeons to precisely achieve the planned correction using a combination of intuitive 3D planning and custom-made, minimally invasive devices for superior patient comfort.

Such a result could lead to a significant improvement in clinical treatment options, which will ultimately enhance the patient experience.

Patients scheduled for HTO surgery at Cardiff and Vale Orthopaedic Centre, will be recruited as volunteers to take part in a study to collect biomechanical and knee joint imaging data pre- and post-surgery.

The data will be used to inform changes to the planning software. Accelerate is facilitating the delivery of this clinically focused project, through the provision of academic expertise in musculoskeletal biomechanics and imaging, project management, and support for research nurse time to aid patient recruitment.

The work will enable TOKA® to implement bespoke changes to their surgical planning software and bring their own industry-specific expertise to enhance project outcomes and post-project commercial developments.

In addition to developing evidence-driven treatment decision making for knee osteoarthritis surgery, the project will generate valuable case studies, showcase clinical research facilities within Cardiff, and their impact upon industry and NHS Wales, and create opportunities for future research focused collaborations.

Read the published case study

Personalised virtual surgery for optimised knee arthritis treatment

A case study to enhance high tibial osteotomy surgical planning software through the use of biomechanical and imaging data.