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Computer Surgery System Helps Surgeons with Hip Fractures

Manufacturing Group | October 19, 2012

Designed specifically to treat hip fractures, a computer assisted surgery system to help surgeons accurately position lag screws is now available from Stryker Corp.

Designed specifically to treat hip fractures, a computer assisted surgery system to help surgeons accurately position lag screws is now available from Stryker Corp.

Approximately 300,000 people suffer hip fractures a year in the United States, most commonly from falls or direct impact to the side of the hip.

The Gamma3 Locking Nail System consists of a cephalomedullary nail, a lag screw, and a distal locking screw. The cephalomedullary nail is placed into the canal of the femur, and then the lag screw is placed through the nail and into the neck and head of the femur. The lag screw and nail together help unite the fracture, allowing it to become more stable to help promote proper healing.

Studies have shown that proper positioning of the lag screw in the femoral head is an important aspect of achieving positive patient outcomes. Failure of a cephalomedullary nail may occur if the lag screw has not been properly placed within the femoral head.  A "cut out" of the lag screw in the femoral head is one potential result, which may necessitate a revision surgery.

During conventional hip fracture surgery, surgeons use mechanical instruments and x-ray images to place the nail and lag screw. Stryker Adapt is a computer assisted surgery system designed to assist surgeons in lag screw positioning by using Stryker's proprietary Adaptive Positioning Technology. The system automatically identifies the Gamma3 Locking Nail relative to the patient's anatomy and provides computer guidance to assist the surgeon with implant alignment, lag screw length and lag screw positioning.

Stryker Adapt for Gamma3 assists surgeons in more accurately positioning the lag screw, regardless of their level of clinical experience.

"Optimal lag screw placement has been identified as the primary factor in prevention of lag screw cut out," says Dr. James Maxey, orthopaedic surgeon in Peoria, IL. "The combination of clinical research, trauma engineering and elegant positioning technology allows novice and expert surgeons to accurately place the lag screw."

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