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CURVEBEAM CONNECT: THE FUTURE OF SYNDESMOSIS EVALUATION

On this month’s edition of CurveBeam ConnectVinti Singh, Director of Marketing at CurveBeam interviews Alexej Barg, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Utah.

Dr. Barg specializes in the care of the foot and ankle, as well as reconstruction of traumatic injuries to the foot, ankle replacement, and joint preserving procedures.

Prior to coming to the University of Utah, he was the head of the Orthopedic Department at the University of Basel in Switzerland.

Dr. Barg currently serves as a reviewer for numerous medical journals including Foot & Ankle International, Journal of Biomechanics, Clinical Anatomy, and BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, and is well published in foot and ankle replacement.

Currently, Dr. Barg is working with a variety of other researchers on a series of weight-bearing CT projects, including two cadaver research studies. On working with Dr. Arne Burssens on a templating method, Dr. Barg said, “we’re able to compare the healthy side versus the injury side and can detect very small differences in imaging using weight-bearing, which we’re not able to do using conventional radiographs and MRI.”

Give this podcast a listen to hear Singh and Dr. Barg break down his recent presentation on evaluating syndesmosis, his discoveries on the effect that torque plays in syndesmosis measurement, and whether these findings could translate to imaging in the clinical setting.

CurveBeam Heads to Nashville for AAOE 2019

 

CurveBeam will be on hand at AAOE 2019, exhibiting our innovative imaging solutions for orthopedic specialties and subspecialties in Booth #629.

AAOE provides advocacy, networking and business development for the orthopedic and musculoskeletal healthcare professions. To further promote quality healthcare practice management in the industry, each year the AAOE hosts a conference, gathering orthopedic practice professionals from around the country in one venue to learn new practice management techniques and policies, compare new products and services, discuss changes in healthcare and other issues affecting them each day, and more.

Proud to be a field pioneer, CurveBeam’s design and manufacture of advanced 3D imaging technologies have been setting new standards in orthopedic and podiatric 3D imaging since the company’s founding in 2009. Industry-leading innovation, CurveBeam’s imaging systems utilize progressive Cone Beam CT capabilities to provide cutting-edge imaging at a fraction of the cost of traditional CT equipment.

While at AAOE 2019, stop by Booth #629 and let the CurveBeam team guide you through the benefits of our trailblazing solutions that can positively support the imaging needs of your practice and patients.

Webinar: “How I Integrated WBCT Into My Private Practice”

soomekhSign up for CurveBeam’s next Corporate Webcast on FOOTInnovate.com. In his lecture titled, “How I Have Integrated Weight Bearing CT into My PracticeDr. David Soomekh, DPM will discuss how his practice has incorporated CurveBeam’s pedCAT weight bearing CT system.

Dr. Soomekh is the founder of the Foot & Ankle Specialty Group in Beverly Hills, as well as a Board Certified foot and ankle surgeon. Dr. Soomekh was named best foot and ankle surgeon in Los Angeles by Los Angeles magazine.

The webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, May 7th from 7 p.m. – 8, EST. To view this webinar, you must register in advance here. Once registered, you will receive an email with instructions on how to join the session.

Hugentobler: pedCAT Improves Practice Workflow

Dr. Nicholas Hugentobler, DPM
Dr. Nicholas Hugentobler, DPM

It is feasible for a single-practitioner podiatry practice to add weight bearing CT (WBCT)  imaging and realize economical and operational benefits, Dr. Nicholas Hugentobler, DPM, explained in a webinar titled, “Incorporating Weight Bearing CT Imaging into the Daily Podiatric Practice” on FOOTInnovate.

Dr. Hugentobler took over Animas Foot and Ankle in Durango, Colo., in 2012 and purchased a pedCAT WBCT system three years later. Since then, Animas has grown to seven total locations and eight doctors.

Dr. Hugentobler said the pedCAT makes financial sense if a podiatrist orders on average one CT scan per clinic day, however “my criteria for ordering a WBCT has expanded as I have been able to see the benefit.” Dr. Hugentobler said he regularly orders WBCT studies for post-surgical fusion verification, fracture repair verification, post-surgical alignment verification and pre-surgical planning.

Dr. Hugentobler advised to always bill only what is appropriate and to always provide adequate documentation that would stand up in an audit or a peer-to-peer review.

An unintended benefit of adding the pedCAT to his practice was increased efficiency, Dr. Hugentobler said. An X-Ray study can take as much as 8 minutes depending on the technologist, he said. Often after reviewing the radiographs, a podiatrist will have to send the patient back for additional views. A pedCAT scan takes a little more than a minute, and provides unlimited X-Ray views via its Insta-X feature.

“I have a practice in an adjacent city which has three doctors at any given time,” Dr Hugentobler said. “They order about half as many X-Rays as I do alone. The fact is I am earning more on X-Ray than anticipated.”

Dr. Hugentobler reviewed several cases from his clinical practice. 

Sesamoid grinding on crista cropped

In the case above, the patient’s pedCAT Insta-X of the foot showed the patient had a mild bunion. Dr. Hugentobler said the X-Ray view did not explain why the patient had severe pain to the point where he could not walk. Navigating through the coronal slices on the the CT volume showed the patient’s sesamoid was directly underneath the crista and was grinding against it. “It won’t take long before that starts deteriorating in the wrong direction,” Dr. Hugentobler said.  The pedCAT allowed for prompt and responsive treatment. 

In another example,  Dr. Hugentobler showed a 34-year-old female who had gotten an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) after a motorcycle accident. After surgery, her foot was fixed in a varus position. She was “bounced around” from doctor to doctor after surgery to try to figure out why. Providers suggested bracing, a calcaneal slide, etc. When the patient came to Dr. Hugentobler, he ordered a WBCT, which revealed a large bone mass in the subtalar joint was causing the misalignment. Further evaluation showed arthrosis and subchondral schlerosis.

“This gives you a better understanding of what really will be beneficial,” Dr. Hugentobler said, who recommended a fusion and injections to the patient.

 

pedCAT saves 800+ Hours of Imaging Time a Year

A study found that performing 2D radiographs & traditional medical CT imaging for foot & ankle exams took an extra 800 hours of imaging time per year, as compared to performing only a pedCAT weight bearing CT scan for the same indications.

pedCAT image acquisition is 70% faster than radiographs and 35% faster than CTs. Patient positioning on the pedCAT does not require X-Ray emitter or sliding adjustment.

Click to expand the graphic below and see how busy orthopedic practices can save time with weight bearing CT imaging.
Time Savings Study Comparison

WBCT & MRI Study Sheds Light on Flat Foot Degeneration

Some degree of subtalar joint subluxation, as well as sinus tarsi impingement, was found in approximately 70 percent of patients with flexible adult acquired flat foot (AAFD) in a recent imaging study using MRI and weight bearing CT (WBCT) imaging.

Investigators used the imaging to assess which soft tissue structures demonstrating MRI signs of degeneration would correlate and influence more positive findings of bone collapse.

The study results were on display in the poster section of the AAOS Annual Meeting  and summarized by the AAOS Daily News.

Investiagators obtained MRI and WBCT imaging for 55 patients. Patients were evaluated for markers of arch collapse including increased valgus alignment of the hindfoot and forefoot abduction. Subfibular impingement was found in only 9 percent of patients.

“The significant and isolated influence of pronounced degeneration of the ligaments as positive indicators of more severe collapse of the bony architecture in AAFD patients, represented by subtalar joint subluxation and subfibular impingement, must be considered essential findings,” Dr. Cesar de Cesar Netto, a coauthor of the study, told AAOS News Daily. “Since we don’t really know which structures degenerate first in AAFD, our results point toward an increased importance of the ligamentous structures in the development and progression of the pathology, with the degeneration of the PTT potentially representing a late finding and only the tip of the ice berg.

The CurveBeam pedCAT is the only weight bearing CT imaging system with a field of view large enough to capture a bilateral foot and ankle scan. Flat foot degeneration is often a bilateral condition.

Demehri: WBCT Preferable Over MRI for Syndesmosis

demehriInjury to the syndesmosis often requires advanced imaging. Up until recently, the most common advanced imaging modality to evaluate this injury has been magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Dr. Shadpour Demehri, MD, Associate Professor, Russell Morgan Department of Radiology, Johns Hopkins University, discussed the current imaging standards and the evolving role of weight bearing cone beam CT (WBCT) in a presentation he delivered to the WBCT International Study Group in July 2018.

In reviewing recent literature, Dr. Demehri explaind that MRI can reliably and accurately detect syndesmotic injury. There does not appear to be any difference between 3T and 1.5T MRI technologies, and further, there is no advantage to using contrast (MRA) when evaluating the syndesmosis. The biggest limitation of MRI studies is the lack of information regarding the significance of anatomic derangement and biomechanical instability. This limitation is where WBCT technology has emerged as a new tool for evaluation.

Dr. Demehri and his colleges conducted a study of asymptomatic patients to create an atlas of diastasis, rotation, translation, and ankle mortise measurements and range of normals. During this study, they were able to make three conclusions. First, defined syndesmotic measurements can be reliably performed on WBCT. Second, except for medial clear space, syndesmotic measurements did not vary with normal weight bearing. Finally, under physiological load, the relationship between the distal tibia and fibula remains unchanged in the presence of an intact syndesmosis.

The biggest limitation of MRI studies is the lack of information regarding the significance of anatomic derangement and biomechanical instability. This limitation is where weight bearing cone beam CT technology has emerged as a new tool for evaluation.

Considering the conclusions drawn from this initial study, Dr. Shadpour Demehri decided to further evaluate weight bearing versus non weight bearing studies in symptomatic patients. He explains that images were gathered in natural, weight bearing stance to allow for evaluation of comparative anatomy. If apparent syndesmotic injury was evident on plain x-rays or exam, those subjects were removed from the study. This allowed them to evaluate subtle injury more critically and assess the efficacy of typical patients sent for advanced imaging. The findings of this study revealed that in patients with prior ankle injuries, syndesmotic measurements using WBCT are feasible, reproducible, and had moderate to perfect level of agreement between observers. Values of syndesmotic measurements were significantly different between weight-bearing and non-weight bearing images.

As much of the radiology field continues to evolve with technology, Dr. Demehri sees great potential for the utilization of WBCT technology. He hopes to further investigate the role of automated measurements as well as automated bone segmentation and anatomical landmark localization. He believes that using these semi-automated techniques will allow measurements to be obtained using pre-defined anatomic landmarks. Ultimately, this will significantly improve workflow, intra-observer reliability, and level of agreement between radiology readers.

Watch Dr. Demehri’s full presentation here:

CurveBeam Connect Episode 1 – Dr. Francois Lintz, MD

CurveBeamConnectImage

CurveBeam is thrilled to announce the launch of its official podcast – CurveBeam Connect.
Each month, CurveBeam will bring its listeners voices from the clinic, the radiology reading room, medical conferences and more.

The featured guest for CurveBeam Connect’s inaugural episode is Dr. Francois Lintz, MD, a foot & ankle orthopedic surgeon at Clinique L’Union in Toulouse, France. He discusses why he believes weight bearing CT imaging should replace conventional radiography as the gold standard for diagnostic imaging of lower extremity conditions. He also discusses how he conceived the idea for TALAS, a semi-automatic tool for measuring hindfoot alignment in three dimensions.

You can listen to the podcast by hitting the play button on the player above.
Make sure to subscribe to CurveBeam Connect on iTunes and Spotify to stay up to date on the latest episodes.