Archive May 2014 XV, No. 5

Innovations in Orthopedics

New ideas were everywhere at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons annual conference.

C. David Geier, MD


robot precision 1 EASY FIT Blue Belt Technologies promises robot precision without the cumbersome robotic arm.

The expo hall at this year's meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in New Orleans was filled with innovations aimed at safer surgeries, improved outcomes and greater patient satisfaction. In pictures and in words, here are some of the neat new products that your orthopedic surgeons might find useful and interesting.

Blue Belt Technologies
NavioPFS Surgical System
The Navio system is a light, extremely mobile and easy-to-use planning and navigation platform that gives surgeons a virtual cutting guide along with detailed visualization. The company says it puts the precision of robotics comfortably in the surgeon's hand.

It certainly seems like a viable alternative to expensive robots, and it's a technology I think you'll see more and more of, since unicompartmental knee replacements are now being done frequently in surgery centers. You certainly can't complain about how heavy it is, and it doesn't take up much space, which is a key feature in surgery centers. Often, you're constrained to a small area, so you don't want equipment everywhere clogging up the room in a joint case.

At about half a million dollars, it's a significant capital purchase, and something most hospitals can probably afford more easily, but it's considerably less expensive than some alternatives.

Allen's advanced spine tables 2 REST EASY Allen's advanced spine tables offer a host of safety features.

Allen Medical
Advanced Spine Table
If you're in the market for new tables for your spine surgeons, there's a lot to like about the features this company has to offer. You probably won't need the 600-pound weight capacity at most outpatient facilities, but patients are getting heavier and heavier, and this table can accommodate just about anyone.

The upgraded head positioner, called a C-flex, is an attractive safety feature. Making sure you avoid sudden snaps of the head is definitely critical when you're flipping and moving the patient. And the range of motion it provides is helpful with kyphotic patients, anterior artificial discs and lateral procedures. Another nice safety feature is that the table free-floats, but the moment you let go, it stops and stays in place. Even if you accidentally pull the wrong pins, the table won't collapse.

There's 360-degree radiolucency. There are disposable pad covers that wick away moisture during surgery to help prevent skin shearing. There are both sling and flat-top options. And in an emergency, you can push a button and unlock all 4 wheels at the same time. That's a time-saver if you need to get a patient out of the room quickly.

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