Interview with PD Dr. med. Jens Anders, Head of the department of orthopaedics at Kliniken Dr. Erler, Nuremberg, Germany
Dr Anders, your department performed its first Episealer surgery 22 months ago, what convinced you to start using Episealer?
Due to a lack of treatment options for middle-aged patients with isolated extensive osteochondral defects on the femoral condyles, we were looking for alternative treatment methods. In this particular case, we did not find the indication was right for hemiarthroplasty or total knee replacement. Nonetheless, ongoing pain and insufficiency suggested an operative treatment.
Did you consider any other treatment alternatives for this patient?
Unfortunately, until today there is no advancement in biological procedures for this kind of indication. Osteochondral graft transfer and autologous cartilage repair are still considered problematic, so we did not find any other alternative.
What made you decide to use Episealer?
Episealer is a well-balanced treatment process. Starting with a special diagnostic MRI, we first discussed the indications with the Episurf Medical team. After a positive decision, the patient was informed and the production process of the individualised implant initiated. The surgery itself is well supported by a properly designed ‘Final Design’ document and an Episurf representative present. All in all, it is a very safe surgical procedure.
With soon two years’ experience of using Episealer, how do you find Episealer suits your clinic today?
We are now following up 7 patients; all have excellent clinical outcomes. No infections were seen and there was no need for additional procedures. Episealer is a modern and innovative treatment option for patients with isolated extensive osteochondral defects on the femoral condyles. The pre-operative planning process with visualisation of the size and depth of the defect guarantees a perfect and individualised implant fit. With a minimally invasive approach, excellent postoperative clinical results are achieved. We are therefore able to close the therapeutical treatment gap to hemi- or total arthroplasty in these particular cases.