When considering the development of orthopedic technology, there are particular advancements that stand out to surgeons.
Ask Orthopedic Surgeons is a weekly series of questions posed to surgeons around the country about clinical, business and policy issues affecting orthopedic care. We invite all orthopedic surgeon and specialist responses.
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Editor's note: Responses were lightly edited for clarity and length.
Question: Which piece of new orthopedic technology excites you the most?
Philip Louie, MD. Virginia Mason Franciscan Health (Tacoma, Wash.): I think what augmented reality will become is exciting. Being able to segment bony structures and apply this segmentation intraoperatively is a nice tool. But using all this data to differentiate soft tissues and alterations to anatomy with dynamic position changes will be valuable. Then being able to utilize this platform to perform preoperative planning and obtain clinical and radiographic outcomes to build predictive analytics platforms will drive spine surgery to the next level in terms of value and safety.
Christopher Baker, MD. Florida Orthopaedic Institute (Tampa): A new orthopedic technology that I find particularly exciting is Tactoset injectable bone substitute for hardware augmentation by Anika. Tactoset has been used successfully to treat stress fractures, bone voids and other skeletal defects akin to how a dentist fills a cavity. Hyaluronic acid is a critical component of Tactoset. The naturally occurring lubricant helps make Tactoset easy for surgeons to work with by increasing its injectability and flowability. Once injected, Tactoset hardens and mimics the properties of certain types of bones, then remodels into healthy bone over time. Tactoset allows surgeons to address the concern for microfractures and bone quality while creating a strong foundation to augment the use of suture anchors and other hardware.