Whether you are transitioning from using analogue, printed x-rays to digital radiology or simply changing your PACS provider, there are some key things to bear in mind when selecting a suitable digital solution for orthopaedic surgical planning.
Andrew Noble, MD, is an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in total joint replacement at Palm Beach Orthopaedic Institute in Florida. Being able to plan pre-operatively is essential for him and he relies on digital templating for proper sizing and positioning of his implants. Here he outlines his criteria for selecting a templating solution.
“I was obviously looking for a solution that is easy to use, has all the templates I need and is accurate. But I also needed it to be compatible with our PACS so that I can work on my images from the PACS and save them back to it easily.”
Since transitioning to digital pre-operative planning, Dr. Noble now finds that he relies on his templated images and pre-operative plans even more in the OR, particularly for judging the level of resection, alignment, sizing, and leg length.
“While I still confirm all of my cuts, angles, sizes, etc. in the OR, I would be less confident in the OR without a digital plan,”
- says Dr. Noble
Another unexpected benefit of digital templating over analogue with printed x-rays and acetate templates that Dr Noble has found has been a reduction of time spent in surgery. He adds
“Digital templating not only prepares me as the surgeon, but also the surgical tech for each case. The surgical techs review my templates just prior to our case, allowing them to prepare the back-table with the appropriate instruments and trials based on the components and sizes that I have templated. This allows the case to flow more efficiently, thereby reducing OR time."
Dr. Noble now plans all of his hip and knee cases digitally and he says “I feel more confident with my pre-surgical plan and surgical outcomes now that I plan all my procedures digitally. I know that I will have the correct prosthesis for the patient's anatomy, since I templated the case in advance.” Dr Andrew Noble has been using Materialise OrthoView in his private practice and Community Hospital since 2014.