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One Step at a Time? Knee Replacements Are Advancing by Leaps and Bounds!

An increasing number of U.S. residents over the age of 65 has expanded the need for longer-lasting knee implants. Orthopedic companies have responded by developing new technologies that have resulted in more durable implants. This, according to ODT, has in turn led to “an increase in the number of younger patients receiving them.” At the same time, older knee implants will continue to deteriorate, and therefore need to be replaced. This means growing opportunities for these same orthopedic companies.

In other words, these are not your parents’—or grandparents’—knee implants. Past implants were primarily made of metal or metal/polyethylene, but newer artificial joints use water-resistant ceramic or plastic in at least one component, and are designed to address metal sensitivities. And with computerized navigation and electromagnetic probes, surgeons can replace knee joints with increasing accuracy. Often the whole knee no longer has to be removed and replaced; rather the bone can have a small part shaved off and resurfaced. These advancements in surgical materials and techniques have resulted in a tripling of total knee replacements in people ages 45 to 64 from 2000 to 2010.

Rather than a total knee replacement, a patient often only needs a unicompartmental, or partial, knee replacement. This usually involves replacing only the inside (medial side) of the knee, as this is often the first part to wear out. The outside (lateral portion) of the knee can be done in a similar fashion, with little pain, a quick recovery, and only a small scar in each case. For those with knee arthritis, unispacers are now used—especially in younger patients—to separate the knee surfaces and keep them from grinding together.

(Read about how weight bearing CT imaging has been used in osteoarthritis research here:

Add to this the fact that these less intrusive methods only require local anesthesia, and newer pain medications and pain management methods are now available. Modern knee surgeries also mean faster recovery time—and an earlier return to work and other daily activities.

There’s little question that increased innovations are less invasive, making knee surgeries more common. New materials, and even biomaterials developed using stem cell research to create individualized natural cartilage, are on the horizon, meaning this well-established, mature market is set for some serious changes.

CurveBeam was founded in 2009 by a group of individuals with a proven track record in the advances and compact 3D imaging device domain. The company designs and manufacturers Cone Beam CT imaging equipment for the orthopedic and podiatric specialties.

To learn more about how CurveBeam technology can help you get the best images for your patient and their needs, visit us at today!

In-Office CT Imaging Equipment Helps Urgent Care Centers Better Address Orthopedic Care

According to a 2015 survey by the Urgent Care Association of America, there are more than 7,000 urgent-care centers in the United States. The industry is expected to grow 4 to 6 percent per year in the near future, mainly due to a shortage of primary-care providers, overfilled emergency rooms, a growing aging population, and an increase in the number of insured patients. There has been a similar increase in orthopedic urgent care, driven chiefly by patient’s demands for decreased wait times and lower costs for orthopedic care. In order to better address these needs, urgent care facilities are increasingly adding in-office CT imaging equipment.

As healthcare changes and evolves, doctors need to pay attention to trends as well as patient expectations in order to grow their practices. In a recent article in the Orlando Sentinel, Dr. Alejandro Badia relates why he started an orthopedic urgent-care center. “Every patient that came to see me had already been somewhere, and that somewhere didn’t do much for them,” he stated. “I said to myself, ‘Why can’t somebody reach me more directly?‘” Badia, a practicing hand surgeon, established OrthoNOW orthopedic urgent care in 2010, and began franchising the concept in 2014. “Our mission is to change the way expert orthopedic health care is delivered,” said Badia.

OrthoNOW and its franchisees are capitalizing on the rapid growth in urgent care. As related in a recent article in Becker’s ASC Review, representatives of Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASC) have witnessed a similar trend. Sandy Fragale, administrator at Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Specialists of Green Bay, WI, said, “It’s a lower cost alternative to urgent or emergency care. It’s less expensive than the ER or urgent care. Additionally, the patients get to see a physician, which is a big bonus.” Josh Siegel, MD, Northeast Surgery Center in Newington, NH added, “Our walk-in clinic allows us to be available when our patients need us and with no appointment necessary. In many cases, our patients are able to come to the walk-in clinic and see an orthopedic specialist the same day.” Dr. Siegel also highlights the tremendous cost savings to patients who might pay the ASC $200 instead of the $2,000 typically charged by a hospital ER.

CurveBeam designs and manufactures Cone Beam CT imaging equipment specifically designed for the orthopedic and podiatric specialties. CurveBeam wants to help orthopedic care centers serve patients better and more efficiently. The company was founded in 2009 by a group of individuals with a proven track record in the advanced and compact 3D imaging device domain, and is still privately owned and operated. CurveBeam’s systems have been installed across the United States, Europe, Australia, and China. The pedCAT, a compact, ultra-low dose CT imaging system, works in conjunction with CubeVue, CurveBeam’s custom visualization software. Cone Beam CT scans are virtually the standard of care for advanced orthodontics and oral surgery treatment planning. CurveBeam hopes to set the standard in orthopedic imaging worldwide.

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3 Leading Orthopedic Doctors to Present at the Weight-Bearing CT International Study Group’s Scientific Session in Lisbon, Portugal Next Month

The Weight Bearing CT International Study Group promotes dialogue and collaboration on weight bearing CT research initiatives. The group is dedicated to enhancing diagnosis and understanding of weight bearing foot and ankle conditions, and is working to create standardized protocols for weight bearing CT measurements and analysis. Its next event is a Scientific Session on Weight Bearing CT on September 30, 2017 in Lisbon, Portugal. We hope you will join us there!

The WBCT International Study Group Mission will be presented By Dr. Arne Burssens of the Ghent University Department of Physiotherapy and Orthopedics. Dr. Burssens is the lead author of several studies on weight bearing CT, including “Weightbearing CT in normal hindfoot alignment — Presence of a constitutional valgus?” and “Measuring hindfoot alignment in weight bearing CT: A novel clinical relevant measurement method.”

WBCT& its Clinical Advantages will be presented by Dr. Martinus Richter of Krankenhaus Rummelsberg in Germany. Dr. Richter is the inventor of the Intraoperative Pedography (IOP) system and the International Federation of Foot & Ankle Society’s Vice President/Program Chair. He recently discussed his experiences using the pedCAT, a compact, ultra-low dose CT imagining system.

Finally, the WBCT Global Database Project will be presented by Dr. Francois Lintz, an orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon at Clinique de l’Union in Toulouse, France. Dr. Lintz recently presented the CurveBeam webinar entitled “TALAS Software for Quick and Efficient 3DWBCT Hindfoot Alignment Measure: A Revolution in Foot and Ankle Diagnosis.

A promising innovation in foot and ankle radiographic imaging, the potential of 3D Weight Bearing Computed Tomography (WBCT) based on Cone Beam technology cannot be overstated. Researchers realized that different approaches and methods toward weight-bearing CT have been used and need to be discussed to arrive at the optimal approach for further research.

The International WBCT Study Group is comprised of active and passive members from relevant international surgical and radiology foot and ankle societies interested in conducting and publishing research projects together. This group is independent from industry but cooperates with the different manufacturers of WBCT devices, including CurveBeam, the maker of pedCAT.

Planning to join us? RSVP at the bottom of this page:

We look forward to seeing you there!

New Findings on the Impact of Weight on Arthroscopic Osteochondral Talar Reconstruction; MRI Over CT for Detecting Edema

A recent study published by the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society on the impact of weight on arthroscopic osteochondral talar reconstruction suggests that the AT-AMIC procedure can safely and reliably be performed—regardless of a patient’s weight—resulting in a significant improvement in quality of life.

The goal of the study was to evaluate healing as well as the functional outcomes after an AT-AMIC for two categories of patients: those with a BMI score greater than or equal to 25, and those with a score of less than 25. Using both CT and MRI, the study’s authors— Federico Giuseppe Usuelli, MD, Camilla Maccario, MD, Chiara Ursino, MD, Nicola Serra, PhD, and Riccardo D’Ambrosi, MD—analyzed 37 arthroscopic osteochondral reconstructions undertaken between January 2012 and June 2014 at a site renowned for foot and ankle procedures. The 37 patients could be divided nearly evenly into two groups: a healthy weight group and an overweight group, according to standard BMI recommendations.

As the study unfolded, the authors found that “being overweight leads to an overuse of the ankle joint and increases the stress on the soft tissues and joints.” The most interesting discovery, however, was “the significant difference between the measurements obtained with the CT and those with MRI at each time point,” especially in the overweight group.

With the healthy weight group the differences were minimal and nearly undetectable, except for measurements taken at T0 and at T1. With the overweight group, however, lesions became more visible when measured with MRI. It was these observations that led the authors to hypothesize that “weight plays a key role in the edema surrounding the osteochondral lesion,” and that such lesions are better identified and measured with MRI.

Conversely, the strength of CT scan is its ability to focus on the condition of the subchondral bone plate,” the study said. “The integrity of the subchondral bone plate is crucial for the vitality of the articular cartilage.”

In addition, “we hypothesized that in overweight patients a load focused on the talus could lead to edema, with an over-estimation of the lesion measured with MRI.”

All of the study’s patients demonstrated substantial improvement at the study’s final follow-up. As a result, in the authors’ view, a patient’s weight should not be used as a “negative predictor” for how that person will ultimately respond to an AT-AMIC procedure.

Advanced CT Technology Increases Presence in Sports Medicine with Decreasing Footprint

Football season is about to begin and many teams are already in full practice mode. The fast pace and high impact nature of football leads to numerous injuries during practice and certainly on game day. A handful of players from each team could find themselves in the care of consulting radiologists and doctors who use ultrasound, plain films, CT, MRI, and other procedures such as arthrography to diagnose trauma.

Whether for professional athletes or weekend warriors, a fast and accurate diagnosis is critical for a quick recovery. Because of this, there has been a substantial growth in the use of Computed Tomography (CT) in the diagnosis of athletic injuries, particularly in the sport of football.

Every football team is concerned with the health and safety of their players. Given the high-speed collisions and powerful hits that are part of the game, keeping players healthy is a difficult task.

Advancements in medical technology, and radiology specifically, are being applied to sports medicine to diagnose the severity levels of the seemingly inevitable athletic injuries. In particular, cone beam CT has gained favor for is compact footprint and incredibly high accuracy imaging performance.

The simplicity and convenience of cone beam CT make it ideal for high school and college sports as well. Being able to image and diagnose potential football injuries quickly will instill confidence in parents that their players are receiving the best treatment possible.

While cone beam CT technology can be utilized effectively for any body part, it is predominantly used for orthopedics. Cone beam CT is a tremendous asset, especially when applied to diagnosing complex musculoskeletal injuries such as complicated wrist and ankle fractures. In fact, the pedCAT system is the only cone beam CT tool in the world that can provide weight bearing, three dimensional images of one or both feet. When it comes to football injuries, this is a huge advantage!

CT technology has truly found a place in serving the athletic community for its ability to expedite diagnoses of injuries and get players back on the field as quickly as possible. Cone beam CT has taken this convenience and accuracy to the next level with a small footprint and built-in shielding to enable high accuracy imaging to be performed right in the stadium or training room.

Founded in 2009, CurveBeam has earned a reputation for advancing compact 3D imaging with high-tech cone beam CT solutions. Designing and manufacturing the world’s most innovate cone beam CT systems, CurveBeam continues to set the standard in the medical industry.

Learn more about the our state-of-the-art CT technology today!