What conclusions do you draw from the collected data?

Nicole Vogel: The data is enormous and there are many exciting aspects which I will continue to evaluate. With the ongoing results, there may be something that stands out again that we want to pursue further. The evaluation possibilities are enormous and we are constantly analyzing and deciding what we want to focus on.

Prof. Dr. med. Markus P. Arnold: One idea is to compare the results of patients with the first custom-made prostheses with those who were operated on later. This is the only way we can really find out whether the system has a learning curve.

The methodology of our knee prostheses, especially the custom-made ones, does not change much because of the measurement, since the results are fortunately very good. So we have the luxury problem that all our patients (with standard and custom-made prostheses) are very satisfied. We need even more time for a larger number of cases and more specific questionnaires to be able to find out specific details. The first step, however, was to find out whether this innovative method is really good or at least as good as the standard version. If the results were bad, I would have to draw the consequences and change something or leave it alone.

Another major advantage is that we can more precisely define patient satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

Please explain this in more detail.

Nicole Vogel: In the case of dissatisfied patients, we look in detail at what the problem is. What can the patient do and what not? Is it possible to deal with it more specifically in the treatment? It is not simply a “not good” or “good”, but we look in detail at what the problem is. Later we can filter out whether there is a difference between dissatisfied and satisfied patients based on the answers. Perhaps limited flexion is more of a problem? Or is it that men differ from women or slim patients from the more corpulent ones? Such points can be extracted and evaluated later.

Prof. Dr. med. Markus P. Arnold: This then also results in feedback for us again, because certain patterns may arise: If I have patient X in front of me and I already know that I will never satisfy him regarding expectation Y, then I have to tell him that. In everyday life we are always confronted with individual cases. And suddenly patterns and answers emerge on the basis of such measurements. Is it really difficult to help a corpulent woman with knock-knees with a prosthesis? Is it possible to pay attention to special aspects in certain cases? Perhaps we can find factors that constitute a high risk of dissatisfaction. This way we know that we cannot make such patients happy with our treatment or that we may have to change something. By collecting data, we move from the individual case to an overview of what we are doing.