When Dr. Noble, an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in total joint replacement at Palm Beach Orthopaedic Institute, FL, found himself without hard copy X-rays to plan his hip and knee arthroplasty procedures, he took a leap towards digital pre-operative planning.
Transition from Analog to Digital Planning
During his whole career, Dr. Andrew Noble had used hard-copy X-ray images to template total hip and knee replacements. But when he made the switch to his new practice, Dr. Noble was forced to find an alternative templating solution as the facilities only used digital X-rays.
Templating is a crucial part of any surgeon’s job. Without a good X-ray of the patient’s anatomy, doctors have no material with which they can plan the surgery. As Dr. Noble explains, “I rely on my pre-operative plans while I'm operating. I check my resection level and alignment, as well as the size and position of implants, to ensure that I get the best result.”
He needed a digital templating solution that fulfilled three main criteria: it needed to be easy to use and accurate, it needed to be compatible with the institute’s PACS, with access to diverse templates. “I wanted to easily retrieve X-rays from our PACS and save the templated images back into the PACS database. It was important that the templating software would communicate with our current system," says Dr. Noble.
Value of Digital Templating for Hip and Knee Procedures
An ideal solution presented itself with Materialise OrthoView. In order to determine the appropriate implant sizes he needs for hip replacement and knee arthroplasties, Dr. Noble uses the software to plan each detail. And in case of unusual anatomies, he is able to choose an implant from the template library. He explains that “Digital templating not only prepares me as the surgeon, but also prepares the surgical tech for each case. The surgical techs review my templates just prior to the case, which allows them to prepare the back-table with the appropriate instruments and trials. This makes the case flow more efficiently, thereby reducing OR time."
Digital templating therefore shortens the time spent in surgery for the patient, meaning faster recovery times and better standards of treatment. And Dr. Noble can select appropriate hip components in advance, assessing leg length and femoral offset to ensure both are adequately restored with the implants that he has selected.
“Materialise has integrated with our systems and with my workflow, and the transition has been smooth. I feel more confident with my pre-surgical plan and surgical outcomes now that I plan all my procedures digitally.”