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Innovation in its bones: the Christchurch company using tech to change the world of implants

Right around the world, the demand for bone and joint implants is growing fast. Humans are living longer, and more adventurously, which is putting pressure on our bodies. Until now, the only solution has been a one-size-fits-all implant. But as it turns out, one size doesn’t fit all – and those implants often wear out. So, the visionary thinkers at Ossis in Christchurch, New Zealand decided to do something about it.

 Where many of us would ask ‘why’, the team at Ossis are more used to asking ‘why not?’ Surely it’s possible to create an implant that fits like a glove and is built to last? And sure enough, they were right.


Since 2007, Ossis has been revolutionising orthopedic surgery around the world with its custom-designed titanium alloy bone and joint implants. The company was the first in the southern hemisphere to manufacture made-to-measure human implants – and today, they’re a leading provider across both hemispheres. It’s been an exciting journey, driven by ingenuity, care of people, and good old Kiwi know-how.

Collectively, the team has more than 20 years’ experience in clinical orthopedics, combined with expertise in biomechanical engineering, 3-D technology, digital design and computer modelling. The implants they design and manufacture are unique to each patient; custom-designed down to the very last millimetre to ensure fast recovery and total mobility. It’s tough for mass-produced implants to compete with that.


While the product may not be simple, the philosophy certainly is: to design and fit the perfect implant for each patient. And it’s no small task. Many of those patients live with severely damaged bones and joints, some have suffered cancer and other debilitating diseases, while others face permanent disability or even amputation.

Working closely with surgeons, Ossis uses imaging technologies, software platforms and 3-D mapping to design advanced and effective implants that offer people the best possible treatment. Because while technology is a big part of what the company does, people are the reason they do it.

“We’re very privileged to help people get their lives on track. It’s a team effort.” – Managing Director, Paul Morrison


Once the design is given the tick of approval, the finished product can be on the surgeon’s desk in three weeks, along with a trial implant for pre-surgery planning. It’s a fast and flexible process that increases the success rate of surgery as well as cutting down the time patients spend under the knife, and later, in recovery. Some would say that’s a win-win.

It’s certainly been a success for those whose lives have been changed, both in New Zealand and around the world. Over the course of more than 200 successful operations, Ossis has helped take people out of wheelchairs, taken the pain out of walking and given back that all-important independence. Right now, about 60 percent of turnover is from international markets including the US and Europe, with plans to expand even further in the next few years. Bring it on, we say.

If you want to see what it’s like at the leading edge of innovation, we know a place.

This article originally appeared on NZ Story

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