Cornwall surgeons use new scan for knee replacements

Mike Regan holding a plastic knee joint created from MRI
Image caption Orthopaedic surgeon, Mike Regan says the plastic knee joints are perfect replicas.

Surgeons in Cornwall are using a new technique which they claim will enable more accurate surgery to help knee replacements last longer.

Staff at Truro's Duchy Hospital are using MRI scans to make a mould enabling them to create a "perfect replica" of a patient's knee.

Orthopaedic Surgeon Mike Regan said the scans allowed more accurate surgery than traditional X-rays.

He said he hoped the technique would eventually be used across the NHS.

'Perfect replica'

Mr Regan said: "It involves patients having scans of their hip, knee and ankle, and then a 3D model is made of that patient's knee.

"The model is a perfect replica."

Graham Stone is one of only two patients in Cornwall to have received replacement knees using the new technique.

"You lie on your back, they put you into a tunnel and take the images - there's nothing to it," he said.

According to Cornwall Primary Care Trust, a traditional knee replacement costs about £5,000 and about 400 are carried out each year.

Mr Regan said he expected the new treatment would cost more than the basic procedure.

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