A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

At this year's annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons' (AAOS; Rosemont, Illinois) in San Diego, Medtronic (Minneapolis) reported the availability of the Synergy Experience StealthStation System.

The system, it said, combines navigational procedural solutions with minimal access spinal technologies (MAST) to better treat spinal conditions by enabling less invasive procedures, smaller incisions and less exposure to radiation.

The Synergy system is designed to enable surgeons and their staff to shorten operating room set-up and procedure time by using software that stores surgeon preferences for each procedure. The system monitor also provides glare-free clarity and the wireless surgeon mouse is fully functional on a variety of different surfaces, allowing for more control and maneuverability in the sterile field.

"Image guidance allows visualization of the spine in multiple planes, simultaneously, like having multiple c-arms activated continuously throughout the procedure," said Choll Kim, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of California (San Diego). "This provides me with a better 3-D view of the spine and has allowed me to perform complex minimally invasive surgeries in a safe and reproducible fashion, without the burden of wearing uncomfortable lead equipment and the intrusion of the c-arm into the surgical field."

Medtronic is giving demonstrations of the new system at its AAOS booth this week.

In other reports from the meeting:

  • Canon Medical Systems, a division of Canon U.S.A (both Lake Success, New York), demonstrated how its digital radiography (DR) systems can help streamline and improve a physician's image workflow at the AAOS meeting.

"Canon has been at the forefront of DR innovation, introducing the industry's first portable DR system in 2001," said Tsuneo Imai, director and general manager, Medical Systems Division, Canon U.S.A. "Today, Canon offers portable DR solutions that deliver excellent image quality, virtually seamless network and workflow integration with DICOM Standard-compliant devices to the orthopedic community."

Canon DR systems and solutions on display at the meeting included: Portable DR Systems and Canon DR Image Viewing Software.

  • Zimmer (Warsaw, Indiana) profiled several technology enhancements in its Computer Assisted Solutions (CAS) product portfolio at the meeting.

Among these were expanded applications for its Zimmer Brigit Bone Resection Instrument Guide and for the iNAV Portable Electromagnetic Navigation System.

The company also introduced its new disposable Zimmer ICE Cube Instruments for increased precision and ease-of-use in surgery.

"At Zimmer, CAS technologies are not machines intended to replace surgeons; they are value-added SmartTools designed to assist surgeons in improving their clinical results," said Ray Elliott, Zimmer chairman, president/CEO. "At the same time we believe these technologies can also help to lower overall health care costs through improved operating room efficiencies, such as potentially reducing by millions of dollars the cost of instruments needed for procedures and speeding the transition between steps in a surgical procedure."

Brigit is intended to provide the surgeon with the ability to accurately position instruments based upon patient-specific, pre-operative plans established through a software interface. The surgeon then makes surgical cuts at precise angles required for the patient's specific anatomy while the positioning arm assists the surgeon in maintaining the desired position. Based upon internal estimates only, the device may potentially have a payback of less than one year in hospitals doing 1,000 total knee procedures or more per year. Reduced surgery time may create productivity gains of up to 100 more cases a year, the company said.

During the meeting, Zimmer demonstrated the Brigit system with the NexGen Complete Knee Solution and the new Zimmer Gender Solutions Knee.

The iNAV system's portability and cost effectiveness through a fee-per-use program make navigation affordable for community hospitals and other institutions that may not be otherwise able to absorb the capital cost of traditional navigation systems. The iNAV system now offers Electromagnetic Navigation for the Zimmer Natural Knee II System.

Disposable ICE Cube Instruments are designed to enable a surgeon to use a new instrument for every navigated knee surgery through an innovative single use, modestly priced, sterile packaged design.