BrainLAB collaborates with Synthes and Biomet to advance trauma, spine, hips, knees, and maxillofacial surgery

Munich 22 August 2005Synthes Inc., a global medical device company, and BrainLAB, an innovator in image-guided medical technology, have established a co-operation to better integrate surgical navigation and advanced instrumentation for trauma, maxillofacial and spine surgery. The partnership aims at integrating Synthes implant technology with software-driven medical devices by BrainLAB to advance health care. In addition, BrainLAB and Biomet Inc., a global expert in the design and manufacture of implants which replace arthritic hips, knees and other joints, have signed a strategic partnership that will allow the companies to co-develop applications for computer-assisted orthopaedic surgery (CAOS). This partnership forms an important part of BrainLAB's open platform concept, which allows surgeons to use advanced image-guided surgery with their implant of choice.


BrainLAB and Synthes will jointly develop, market, and promote integrated computer-assisted surgery solutions based on Synthes implant technology and BrainLAB image-guided medical navigation technology. The co-operation will work to advance operating techniques and improve the standard of care for trauma patients.

Surgeons dealing with orthopaedic trauma currently face three major challenges. First, although pre-operative image quality such as plain film, CT, MRI, remains excellent, intra-operative visualization is often insufficient, leading to problems with orientation and precision. Secondly, redundant information is often acquired with c-arms, which causes unnecessary radiation exposure for patients and clinical staff. Finally, despite several attempts to reduce invasiveness and approach-related tissue damage, significant soft tissue dissection is still necessary in order to judge and manipulate fragments for fracture reduction. The BrainLAB-Synthes co-operation will address these challenges with advances in computer-assisted surgery, advanced instrument design, and work flow integration in the operating room.

Professor Dr. Christian Krettek, director of the Orthopaedic Trauma Department at the Hanover Medical School (MHH) and chairman of the AO Computer Assisted Surgery Expert Group (CSEG), explained: "It is my strong belief that the use of computer assistance can reap significant benefits across many areas of trauma, spine and maxillofacial surgery. The integration of surgical work flows, instruments and implants into navigation will lead to better precision, less radiation and less invasiveness. This means improved patient safety and better outcomes."

Stefan Vilsmeier, CEO of BrainLAB, added: "After the successful start of our partnership with the AO-ASIF in research, development, and medical education, our worldwide collaboration agreement with Synthes brings us to the next level of image-guided surgery in spine and trauma care. We are excited about providing streamlined work flows and visualization for complex surgical procedures. The integration of the superbly designed Synthes instruments and implants into image-guided surgery, adds safety and simplicity to challenging procedures, such as the precise reduction and fixation of complex fractures, or the placement of artificial disks in spine surgery."

Hansjorg Wyss, Chairman and CEO of Synthes, commented: "We expect this collaboration to result in new implant systems and surgical techniques that will improve functional outcomes for the patient. We are excited about this opportunity that will continue our leadership role in helping to solve significant challenging issues in the orthopaedic industry issues."

Synthes is a global medical device company that develops, produces and markets instruments, implants and biomaterials for the surgical fixation, correction and regeneration of the human skeleton and its soft tissues.

Precise positioning and alignment of implants is a crucial component of successful hip and knee joint reconstruction surgery. The BrainLAB VectorVision surgical navigation system assists surgeons to increase the accuracy of implant positioning by guiding mechanical instruments to a pre-planned target position, which helps improve post-operative functionality of the implant. With this technology, surgeons are better supported in making informed decisions that may deliver safer surgery with the intent to improve clinical results.

The agreement with Biomet Inc. allows BrainLAB to expand its portfolio of existing Biomet implants to offer surgeons more options in implant-specific navigation guided surgery, and provides Biomet with access to VectorVision software technology. With the addition of these and future Biomet applications, surgeons now have a proven orthopaedic navigation option available with:

  • Vanguard Complete Knee System
  • Maxim Complete Knee System
  • AGC Total Knee System
  • Mallory-Head Hip System
  • Bi-Metric X-series Hip System
  • Taperloc Hip System
  • Mallory-Head RingLoc Cups
  • Universal RingLoc Cups
  • Full Hemispherical Cups
  • ArComXL Liners
  • 36mm diameter heads

"BrainLAB has been a pioneer in this market segment by providing a user-friendly open platform navigation system", stated Dane Miller, President and CEO of Biomet. "BrainLAB has the largest base of installed systems for non-spine orthopaedic applications - we could not have chosen a better partner to help us achieve an immediate presence in the CAOS market. We're now able to better serve our current customers and target competitive surgeons who use navigation-guided surgery."

Biomet Inc. and its subsidiaries design, manufacture and market products used primarily by musculoskeletal medical specialists in both surgical and non-surgical therapy. The company's product portfolio encompasses reconstructive products, including orthopaedic joint replacement devices, bone cements and accessories, and dental reconstructive implants; fixation products, including electrical bone growth stimulators, internal and external orthopaedic fixation devices, craniomaxillofacial implants and bone substitute materials; spinal products, including spinal stimulation devices, spinal hardware and orthobiologics; and other products, such as arthroscopy products and soft goods and bracing products. Headquartered in Warsaw, Indiana, Biomet and its subsidiaries currently distribute products in more than 100 countries.

BrainLAB, a privately held company headquartered in Munich, Germany, was founded in 1989 and is specialized in the development, manufacture, and marketing of medical technology for radiosurgery and radiotherapy, orthopaedics, neurosurgery, and ENT. Among the products developed by BrainLAB are software and hardware components for image-guided surgery and radiotherapy as well as integrated systems for stereotactic radiosurgery. With 1680 systems installed in over 65 countries, BrainLAB is among the market leaders in image-guided medical technology. BrainLAB today employs 670 people worldwide and has 15 offices across Europe, Asia, North and South America. More company news can be found in the VMW March 2005 article Wright Medical Group Inc. releases BrainLAB surgical navigation software for the ADVANCE Knee System.

Leslie Versweyveld

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