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PH Company Designs Knee Implants Specifically for Asians.

OII Founders: Dr. Ramos Gustilo (center) and Engr. Jude Sasing (left)

I have arrived at the age wherein I can relate with my father with regards to joint problems. In fact, I already know how it feels to wake up with stiff joints every morning and enduring a nagging, thrumming pain all throughout the day.

Various forms of treatment for Osteoarthritis have been tried by my father, ranging from oils, ointment, oral medication and even injections. Each one having varying levels of relative success.

One method of treatment is having implants specifically on the knees. It is expensive and mobility after surgery is not 100% guaranteed.

Knee implants is a billion dollar industry and one of the competitors is a Filipino-owned company, Orthopedic International (OII). OII hinges its success in the industry based on knee implants it designed specifically for Asians. Initial designs had Occidental patients in mind and is not quite compatible with Asian physiological requirements. 

“Total knee replacement has been around for more than 40 years. Most aspects of implant design have been studied (so) well that there are many implants in the market that are well-designed. However, the process of bone cutting and implant alignment is still largely an ‘art’. Implant alignment and positioning are very important for long-term clinical success. A well-positioned implant can last for more than 20 years, but a misaligned implant may need to be revised after just three years,” Jude Sasing, president of OII disclosed.

Jude Sasing used to be with the University of the Philippines Mechanical Engineering Department collaborated with Dr. Ramon Gustilo an inventor, professor and orthopedic surgeon at Minnesota, USA. They both established OII.

Knee replacement failures is a result of incorrect implant alignment and incorrect femoral component rotation. It took 3 years of experiments and development for the OII Axis Knee System to address the problems related to the above-mentioned knee replacement procedures. It was the result of a Public-Private Partnership. The Department of Science and Technology’s Philippine Council for Health Research and Development partially funded the development.

“We have developed other products before, but the Axis Knee was the first one which involved the government and also with the most number of people involved,” Sasing said. “We did not expect at the outset to be able to come up with novel ideas. The system evolved during the development process, and ideas were generated that turned out to be quite innovative.”

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