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pedCAT: Fracture & Fusion Assessments

X-rays of the foot and ankle may not always provide conclusive assessments for post-operative fusions such as of the tarso-metatarsal joint or hind foot joints. Similarly, the physician is often left guessing if a fracture has properly healed.

“The pedCAT takes all the variability out, all the guesswork out of it,” Dr. Martin O’Malley, MD, an Associate Attending Orthopedic Surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, New York, said.

Dr. O’Malley said pedCAT scans allow him to clearly determine if a fusion has healed more than 50 percent, and he decides when to ambulate his patient accordingly.

“I let people walk on it earlier than before, and I keep them off longer than before,” Dr. O’Malley said.

The pedCAT provides a three-dimensional view of fractures that changes the way O’Malley sees this common diagnosis.

“These posterior pieces are often bigger than we thought were based on plain X-ray and they often travel all the way around the medial side as well, which we never thought they did,” Dr. O’Malley said. “You know, we thought it was an infrequent fracture, but now we see it routinely. Now most of my ankle fracture work, I’d say more than half the time, is through a posterior approach. For the first 15 to 18 years of my practice I would do medial/ lateral incisions. Now I’m going to the back of the ankle. And a lot of it is driven by the pedCAT.”

 

pedCAT Stress Fracture Cross Section

 

Above is an example of a navicular stress fracture in a collegiate runner that had not healed at all after six weeks of casting. Were it not for the conclusive pedCAT scan, this patient would have been allowed to ambulate.

Watch Dr. O’Malley talk more about the pedCAT here .

To offer your patients state-of-the-art fracture & fusion assessment, consider a pedCAT for your practice.

 

pedCAT: Will it Fit?

The pedCAT has been deployed to a range of medical facilities – from large hospitals to single physician practices. Each site has its own unique requirements, and CurveBeam works with each customer to ensure the first weight bearing CT scanner dedicated to the foot & ankle meets all safety requirements. Because the pedCAT is an ultra low dose device, the shielding infrastructure required is similar to that of a plain X-Ray device. The pedCAT does not need to be in a lead lined room.

Because of its compact size and relatively minimal required shielding, the pedCAT can easily fit into a practice with limited space. Take a look at these examples:

This pedCAT was placed next to a treadmill used for gait analysis.
This pedCAT was placed next to a treadmill used for gait analysis.
This pedCAT was placed in a patient examination room in this New York City podiatrist’s office.
This pedCAT was placed in a patient examination room in this New York City podiatrist’s office.
This pedCAT fit into a tight corner next to an X-Ray machine in this California podiatrist’s office.
This pedCAT fit into a tight corner next to an X-Ray machine in this California podiatrist’s office.

 

 

 

World Cup Special Edition: Soccer Player with a Sesamoid Injury

The 2014 FIFA World Cup officially begins Thursday, June 12. The world’s top soccer players will all be in Rio, Brazil for one of the biggest sporting events of the decade. The next two weeks will be filled with cheering fans, tears of joy,  and national pride. But inevitably, there will also be injuries. In fact, before the games even begin, a number of players already know they will have to sit them out.

For professional athletes and weekend warriors alike, an accurate diagnosis from the onset can make a huge impact on the speed of recovery.  When it comes to bony injuries of the foot and ankle, the pedCAT is the only tool in the world that can provide a weight bearing, three dimensional image of the entire foot or both feet.

Here’s a case of a 30-year-old soccer player, who was treated by a  California podiatrist. The athlete injured his right great toe and sesamoids while playing soccer. The doctor observed that the patient’s first metatarsophalangeal joint was swollen and ecchymotic, and that he was tender upon palpation of the great toe joint and sesamoid bones.

The doctor took standard non-weight bearing X-Ray images of the patient. The AP and lateral X-Rays showed an obvious fracture with displacement in the medial sesamoid. The lateral appeared to have a fracture, but the doctor could not confirm his suspicion with the X-Ray. The doctor also took an axial X-Ray, but it had no diagnostic benefit since the patient could not extend his great toe.

double sesamoid fracture x-ray

The doctor then took a pedCAT scan of the same patient. The CT images clearly showed a severely displaced right medial sesamoid oblique fracture and a minimally displaced lateral sesamoid fracture. The oblique lateral sesamoid fracture demonstrated 2 mm of plantar displacement with excellent bony contact/ apposition in the dorsal 4 mm of the sesamoid.

pedCAT double sesamoid fracturepedCAT lateral sesamoid fracture displacement

Although the diagnostic information provided by the pedCAT did not alter the treatment plan for the medial sesamoid, it did confirm the injury to the lateral sesamoid. More importantly, the pedCAT was able to provide diagnostic information regarding the geometric nature of the lateral sesamoid fracture.

 

“I could determine that there was enough bony contact to allow for bone healing with appropriate conservative care management,” the doctor said.

 

 

New Study: pedCAT Allows for More Accurate Bone Angle Measurements than Radiographs or CT

A study published in Foot and Ankle Surgery compared three common angle measurements of the foot taken from non-weight bearing CT, weight bearing digital radiographs, and weight bearing pedCAT scans. The study concludes, “The angles differed between radiographs, CT and pedCAT, indicating that only pedCAT is able to detect the correct angles… pedCAT prevents inaccuracies of projection and foot orientation in contrast to radiographs due to the 3D dataset which is principally independent from projection and foot orientation.”

The study also found the average image acquisition time for the pedCAT (average 270 seconds) was 70 percent faster than with radiographs and 35 percent faster than with CT.

The study was authored by Martinus Richter, Bernd Seidl, Zech Stefan, and Sarah Hahn.

High Resolution Imaging

Cone Beam CT voxel dimensions vs. Medical CT voxel dimensions
Cone Beam CT voxel dimensions vs. Medical CT voxel dimensions

pedCAT scans give you one of the highest resolution views of the foot and ankle available.

And those high resolution views are infinite – physicians can view the foot and ankle from the axial, coronal and sagittal planes by scrolling through .5 mm slices. The average medical CT slice, in comparison, is about 1 mm – 5 mm thick.

Plus, a pedCAT scan is high resolution from every dimension. To understand what that means, here’s a crash course in 3D imaging: Just like a photo is made up of two-dimensional pixels, a foot scan is made up of three-dimensional voxels. Think of a Rubik’s Cube that’s made up of millions of microscopic mini cubes.  Because the voxels are uniform, or isotropic, a pedCAT scan is the same high resolution in all planes.

A medical CT , meanwhile, is often anisotropic. Imagine that same Rubik’s Cube, but this time made up of microscopic rectangular bricks. A typical medical CT image may only be high resolution in one dimension. The other two dimensions will be relatively blurry. The degree of blurriness will depend on the voxel thickness.

If your practice or medical facility prefers not to settle for anything less than the best, it’s time to consider a pedCAT.

pedCAT: Improved Outcomes

pedCAT: Improved Outcomes

The message at RSNA Annual Meeting this past November was clear: new US healthcare laws mean the practice of radiology is no longer about volume, but value.

“We are focusing on quality metrics. It’s becoming important for us to become champions of quality in our institutions,” said Dr. Vijay Rao, MD, in a course at the meeting.

How could a pedCAT add value to your practice?

We might get an idea by looking at a comparable new technology. Breast tomosynthesis mammography provides 3D imaging for breast cancer screening, similar to the way the pedCAT provides 3D imaging for the foot and ankle. Breast tomosynthesis technology can detect breast cancers earlier than traditional 2D mammography, and can more accurately pinpoint the size, shape and location of abnormalities, according to the Massachusetts General Hospital Imaging Department.

Dr. Liane Philpotts, professor of diagnostic radiology at the Yale School of Medicine, called tomosynthesis a “game changer” and a “win-win.”

In the same way, the pedCAT eliminates variability, helps lead to better diagnoses, and makes both you and your patients more confident that treatment will result in better outcomes.

Dr. Erik Nilssen, MD, said the pedCAT helps him determine exactly when to allow patients to ambulate, “based on our ability to monitor fracture healing and fusion rates.”

Also, pedCAT scans can take the guesswork out of hindfoot alignment, said Dr. Martin O’Malley, MD, because they allow for reproducible measurements.

“We’ve never had a reproducible measurement,” until now, he said.

To see an example of a pedCAT scan that led to a more accurate diagnosis, click on the blog post title.

Continue reading "pedCAT: Improved Outcomes"

pedCAT: Easy to Incorporate into Your Medical Facility

The pedCAT system and your iPhone charger have something in common…you can plug them both in anywhere!

That’s right. The pedCAT plugs into any standard 120 volt power outlet (or 220 volt outlet in certain countries).

We suggest the pedCAT be connected to a dedicated line to prevent interference from other equipment as a precaution, although it is not required.

The pedCAT’s simple power requirements are one of the factors that make it easy to integrate into any office workflow – even offices that have limited free space.

Click on the blog post title to see some examples.

This foot and ankle specialty facility placed the pedCAT in a small room.
This foot and ankle specialty facility placed the pedCAT in a small room.
This medical facility incorporated the pedCAT in the same room as its traditional CT device.
This medical facility incorporated the pedCAT in the same room as its traditional CT device.

 

pedCAT: What’s the Dose?

At CurveBeam, patient safety is the top priority. When it comes to CT imaging, it’s important to know the radiation dose a patient can expect during the procedure.

So what is the radiation dose of a typical weight bearing CT scan taken with the pedCAT? But before we get to that, here’s a little quiz.

Can you rank the below items from greatest to least in terms of radiation exposure?

– A pedCAT scan of both feet

– A serving of Brazil nuts

– A roundtrip flight from New York to Tokyo

– An X-Ray of the chest

– Working in an Australian Uranium mine for a year

(Click the blog post title to see the answer.)

Continue reading "pedCAT: What’s the Dose?"

It’s Time to Embrace New Technology

The deal made headlines in the orthopedic community when Stryker, one of the world’s largest medical technology companies, acquired MAKO Surgical Corp., in December 2013. MAKO pioneered the advancement of the robotic arm to assist in hip and knee orthopedic surgeries.

A post-script of an Orthopedics This Week podcast on the subject, the author noted:

“One re-occurring questions from surgeons, who are all dealing with the realities of an increasingly cost conscious health care system, is why would Stryker acquire a company which sells million dollar robots in this period of health care cost reduction?”

We often hear similar feedback from physicians who say they cannot justify a pedCAT purchase when major changes to healthcare loom ahead. Our response is that now more than ever, definitive diagnoses, accurate pre-surgical plans, and comprehensive post-surgical evaluations are crucial. The new medical landscape demands more efficient care.

It seems Stryker agrees. It’s response, as reported by Orthopedics This Week:

“Stryker’s answer is that MAKO will simplify joint reconstruction procedures, reduce variability, and enhance the surgeon and patient experience. And in dollar terms, Stryker’s implants comprise about 80 percent the total cost of large joint replacement. The rest of the cost of surgery is everything else including the surgery itself, rehab, and any problems that come up. Small gains in the non-implant portion of surgery, like fewer errors, more consistent outcomes, can have a huge effect on overall costs. At a time when insurance companies are asking hospitals, surgeons and implant suppliers to virtually guarantee outcomes and eliminate variability, Stryker’s purchase of MAKO is a $1.65 billion bet that robots are the answer.”

Made in the USA

At CurveBeam, we are proud that the pedCAT is manufactured entirely in the United States. Our factory headquarters are located in Warrington, Penn., just north of Philadelphia. The factory floor is housed in the same building as our administrative, sales, and research & development offices. We are committed to creating opportunities in our community. Most of the pedCAT’s components are sourced from local manufacturers as well.

CurveBeam’s manufacturing process is certified by ISO, a developer of voluntary industry standards. Each pedCAT goes through a rigorous testing process to ensure it produces high quality images.

An engineer surveys inventory at CurveBeam headquarters.
An engineer surveys inventory at CurveBeam headquarters.

Engineers on the factory floor follow the principles of lean manufacturing, developed by Toyota. The process is easily scalable, meaning CurveBeam can react quickly to large orders or orders that require a fast turnaround time.

We would like to extend an open invitation to all foot and ankle specialists to visit us. We’d be happy to give you a tour and show you the pedCAT “behind the scenes.”

Tweet: Check out this example of high tech medical device manufacturing on American soil: http://ctt.ec/HPlnc+