Tampa-area now home to ORTHOsoft's latest Navitrack joint replacement technology

Tampa 20 January 2005The Navitrack Navigation System, developed by ORTHOsoft Inc., an expert in the development of innovative Computer-Assisted Orthopaedic Surgery technology, is now available and successfully being used by a number of Tampa-area surgeons, hospitals and surgery centres to optimize the results of total knee and total hip replacements. With its launch in the Tampa-area, the Navitrack Navigation System is now more widely available in the United States.

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The Navitrack Navigation System from ORTHOsoft combines Computer-Assisted Surgery technology and a surgeon's skill, simplifying hip and knee replacement procedures. Surgery with Navitrack is still done by a surgeon, not a robot. This technology provides vital information to diminish the invasiveness of any joint replacement procedure. By simplifying the procedure, Navitrack helps to improve surgical outcomes which leads to potentially faster patient recoveries and better prognosis.

Surveys show that many people delay hip and knee surgery because they fear potential revision surgery due to implant failure. One of the most common causes of joint implant failure is implant misalignment. A misalignment of only a few degrees can reduce the life of a knee implant by as much as 50 percent. Computer-Assisted Surgery with Navitrack can significantly reduce the chance for misalignment.

"We now have the opportunity to have almost every knee put in perfectly", stated Dr. Kenneth Gustke, orthopaedic surgeon at Florida Orthopaedic Institute, Clinical Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery at University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa General. "If we misalign the joint, then we're going to potentially have the patient's knee wear out in five to 10 years. Whereas if we have absolutely perfect alignment, then we have the potential to have the knee last as long as maybe 20 to 25 years."

In a recent study, it was shown that by using Navitrack, patients can nearly double their chances of attaining a near perfect knee implant alignment. That study also shows that nearly one-third of joint replacements that do not use Computer-Assisted Surgery have a significant misalignment. Misalignment can lead to accelerated wear and tear on the joint.

The Navitrack Navigation System enables a surgeon to construct a better fitting joint replacement that can extend the life of the implant due to a more even distribution of weight; it means less joint wear. Patients may not have to worry about more surgery later. If the implant is better aligned and better placed, it will have a longer life span.

"Patients are always looking for the next advance that will make their replacement last longer", stated Dr. Harry Steinman, orthopaedic surgeon at Orthopaedic Associates of West Florida and at Morton Plant Mease Health Care. "With Navitrack, patients don't have to look any further." Navitrack helps prevent the occurrence of Hip-Knee-Ankle (HKA) alignment deviations over three degrees following a total knee surgery in 95 percent of cases. Standard surgery obtains the same result in close to 70 percent of the cases.

For some patients, the Navitrack Navigation System can also mean less tissue damage during surgery and a smaller scar. The result is potentially quicker recovery, less pain and restoration of quality of life. "I was happy with my recovery and would request Navitrack TotalKnee again", stated Sonja Stark, a Navitrack TotalKnee patient. "Three days after surgery, I had 100 degrees of angle already on my knee. Within two weeks, I had 120 degrees, which is the best you can get. You don't have more than that in a normal knee."

Since its inception in 1995, ORTHOsoft's advanced technology has supported more than 16.000 surgical procedures in North America and Europe. It significantly reduces implant misalignment, one of the most common causes for joint replacement failure.

ORTHOsoft Holdings Inc., based in Montréal, Canada, designs and develops multi-platform surgical navigation systems for the growing Computer-Assisted Orthopedic Surgery (CAOS) market. ORTHOsoft's knee, hip and spine applications, which are intuitive and easy to use because they follow traditional surgical flow, provide surgeons with real-time data that improve both surgical process and patient outcomes. More news on ORTHOsoft is available in the VMW October 2004 article Smith & Nephew and ORTHOsoft sign worldwide distribution and development pact.


Leslie Versweyveld

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