Call 518-523-1327 to schedule an appointment today

Traditional vs Patient Specific Instrumentation vs Patient Matched Knee Implants

Screenshot 4 Preview

What is the difference between traditional knee implants and patient specific instrumentation and patient matched implants?

Traditional Knee Implants: 

These implants are the “gold standard”. They are produced by the manufactures in various sizes and the surgeon uses measurements that are obtained real time during surgery to select and implant the best combination of sizes that match the patient’s anatomy. This option allows the greatest intraoperative flexibility for a surgeon to adjust to intraoperative variables. 

Patient Specific Instrumentation: 

Advanced imaging modalities such as an MRI or a CT Scan are obtained and theses are used prior to surgery to see which traditional implants would best fit a patient’s anatomy. Cuts are then pre-planned and the implant manufacturer provides custom patient specific cutting instrumentation. These custom cutting jugs are then used to prepare the patient’s bone to accept the best fitting traditional implant. Small adjustments can still be made to account for intraoperative variables. 

Patient Matched Implants:

Advanced imaging modalities are uses to develop a both cutting jigs and a custom implant that best fits the patient’s anatomy. The manufacturer then provides custom cutting jigs and a custom implant. The surgeon then uses these guides to insert the custom implant. Few options exist for intraoperative changes as both the implants and cutting jigs are produced in advanced of the surgery and are very specific to the preoperative plan.


This article has been written and peer reviewed by the AAHKS Patient and Public Relations Committee and the AAHKS Evidence Based Medicine Committee. Links to these pages or content used from the articles must be given proper citation to the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons.