Archive February 2018 XIX, No. 2

4 Advances in Arthroscopy

Your orthopedic surgeons might soon be asking about the latest tools and technologies for improved joint repairs.

Daniel Cook

Daniel Cook, Executive Editor


Owens Arthoscopy
IN THE FLOW Brett Owens, MD, says precise irrigation fluid management enhances intra-articular visualization and improves outcomes.

Arthroscopy might be the bread and butter of orthopedics, but there's nothing basic about today's advances in joint repairs. Here's a look at the latest in irrigation pumps, imaging, instrumentation and orthobiologics that your orthopedic surgeons would be pleased to see in your ORs.

1. Automated irrigation pumps

Sports medicine specialist Brett Owens, MD, was a surgeon in the Army for 11 years and currently operates at a hospital and several ASCs, including his physician-run surgery center. His most critical piece of equipment, the one item he asks for when he begins operating in new facilities, is a state-of the-art irrigation pump.

"Visualization is the critical aspect of arthroscopy," says Dr. Owens, a professor of orthopedic surgery at Brown University Alpert Medical School in Providence, R.I. "If you can't see, you can't perform surgery. Surgeons do fine with older pumps, but if they're struggling with visualization, a new pump can help."

He performs complex knee and shoulder procedures and has essentially eliminated tourniquet use and associated complications —post-op pain, DVT and post-op bleeding — by using a high-quality pump to maintain a bloodless field.

Surgeons must sustain constant pressure within the joint in order to maintain capsular integrity, but must also avoid fluid extravasation and "red out," which occurs when blood and fluid in the joint create an opaque cloud. "That's a frustrating scenario, which can be avoided by increasing the pressure and maintaining an adequate flow of fluid to clear blood from the field of vision," says Dr. Owens.

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