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Arthritis Patient Helped Create Innovative Knee Implant That Restored His Active Lifestyle

Aug. 8, 2011, 8:00 a.m. EDT Source: marketwatch.com

GAINESVILLE, Fla., Aug 08, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Kevin Hindle, a 47-year-old manufacturing engineer at Exactech, Inc., a global orthopaedic device company, regained his active lifestyle with an innovative new knee implant that he helped develop.

He saw it in the making, tested its materials and possibly even held it in his own hands. Now it is part of his everyday life.

Hindle was a competitive volleyball player for 26 years, but his playing days came to an end when he tweaked his knee in a game two years ago. At first, the pain was manageable, but it steadily worsened and his knee began locking up. He developed painful arthritis and had to receive injection treatments to manage the pain. But it wasn’t enough.

When he and his doctor mutually concluded that he needed knee replacement surgery, Hindle had only one thought — Exactech’s new Optetrak Logic(R) knee implant. Hindle is a process engineer on the Optetrak Logic team that is responsible for manufacturing the knee implant, observing the material casting process and bringing the product to market. He selected a surgeon who uses the Optetrak knee system for many reasons, including the way the system is engineered, its sturdy fixation method and cobalt chrome material.

“I never thought I would ever need a knee replacement. But when faced with making a decision, I was fortunate to know what was available and what I needed,” he said. “Even more amazing was being directly involved in the making of something that changed my life.”

Exactech Founder and CEO Bill Petty, MD, was on hand during Hindle’s surgery. “I had the opportunity to assist in Kevin’s knee surgery,” Petty said. “Everything went very well, especially the implantation of the new tibial tray component that Kevin had such an important role in producing.”

Hindle’s friend and co-worker, Design Engineer Luis Alvarez, was also by his side during surgery. Alvarez’s job often entails observing total knee replacements, but he said this time was different because his friend was on the operating table, his CEO was assisting with the surgery and the product he designed was being implanted.

“It was helpful to have Luis Alvarez present for the surgery because it was the first time we had used the new implant,” Petty said. “I have seen Kevin recently; he walks well, has excellent motion and his pain is much relieved.”

Alvarez can also see the difference knee surgery has made for his co-worker and said, “With Kevin, it seemed to be a lifestyle treatment.”

In just a few weeks after the replacement, Hindle lost weight, was walking more easily and achieved excellent range of motion. He is looking forward to doing more walking and biking, as well as getting back to coaching girls club volleyball teams.

“I have a new life. I got a new start,” Hindle said.

Hindle is one of nearly 600 employees at Exactech, a fast-growing global manufacturer of orthopaedic implant devices, surgical instruments and biologic materials and services that recently celebrated its 25-year anniversary. The company operates from its headquarters in Gainesville, Fla. and more than a dozen additional locations around the globe.

Additional information about knee replacement surgery, including a list of surgeons who use the Optetrak knee system, can be found at www.exac.com .

This is the result of a single patient’s experience. With any surgery, there are potential risks and results will vary depending on the patient.

SOURCE: Exactech, Inc.

        Exactech, Inc.
        Priscilla Bennett, APR, 352-377-1140
        Director of Marketing Communications and Public Relations
        priscilla.bennett@exac.com
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