The use of custom surgical equipment that uniquely matches a patient is improving patient outcomes and reducing health costs, the senior executive of a knee replacement technology firm said Wednesday.

In a released statement, the company pointed to a study published in September 2011 by the Journal of Arthoplasty. The study included a medical doctor from a Lake Charles, La.-based surgical center and two physicians from the Memphis-Tenn.-based Smith & Nephew.

“Patient-matched technology is driving a shift in thinking for our entire industry,” said Scott Elliet, Senior Vice President of Smith & Newphew’s Global Knee Franchise.

In the study 29 primary total knee arthroplasty patients were operated on.

The findings showed that not only did the customized instruments result in knee implants that were a degree closer to the patients natural body alignment compared to traditional instruments, the product reduced hospital stay length, operative time, incision length and number of used instrument trays.

The study’s authors, including John Noble of Imperial Calcasieu Medical Group of Lake Charles, said additional research was being performed ton confirm the study’s preliminary results.

“[T]his evidence suggests that patient-matched instrumentation may support repeatable improvements in surgical accuracy and hospital efficiency,” the authors wrote.

The company also noted that accurate implant placement has been shown to improve the longevity of an implant by reducing implant wear.

The study showed that the customized instruments reduced the number of instrument trays by 43 percent and eliminated more than 20 surgical steps for each surgery.

Smith & Nephew said that under the Visionaire system surgeons will need to upload each patient’s specific MRI and X-Ray images into the company’s web-based software for the company to build customized surgical instruments that will accommodate to the patient’s joint shape and angle.

The company hopes to develop new applications that can be used under the new patient-matched technology system.