New technology used to best position hip replacements

10 August 2017

Everyone’s hips are different. We all move in our own unique way and exert different loads on our joints due to our individual anatomy and the way in which we move. 

Orthopaedic surgeon, Mr Jeremy Latham, is factoring this into his surgery – achieving patient-specific alignment for total hip replacements. For this he is using technology called  Optimized Positioning System (OPS™) this helps to place the different components of a prosthetic into the exact orientation required to maximise a patients movement. This new technology challenges the traditional approach of hip implant placement. It is specific to the patient and tailors the implant position to suit their individual hip and how it moves. It could also reduce hip dislocation, reduce wear and increase the overall longevity of the hip replacement. During surgery, he utilises a unique patient-specific guide in combination with laser guidance to optimise the alignment of the prosthetic components as he carries out the hip replacement.

Mr Jeremy Latham explained why he used this 3D technology, “I use the OPS™ system for patients who wish to maintain a particularly active lifestyle after hip surgery. The planning process calculates the optimum position for the implants which helps to reduce the risk of dislocation and premature wear of the bearing surfaces. Many of my patients return to activities such as golf, tennis, sailing and even skiing after they have had hip surgery. OPS™ provides a lot of confidence for both the patient and the surgeon alike.”

Before surgery, the patient has a series of scans to determine exactly how their individual hip moves, the patient undergoes a CT scan and four x-rays to gather the patient specific data set.

This information gives the engineers a precise understanding of the movement of each patient’s hip during their daily activities. They use this data to optimise the hip replacement orientation and then make a 3D instrument that helps guide the surgeon during the operation i.e. where the hip replacement should be placed to optimise movement for the patient, increase patient satisfaction and lifespan of the joint replacement.

By using this combination of a pre-operative simulation of the forces at play in the patients hip, and planning software, a unique positioning system that employs 3D printing and laser guidance, OPS™ helps Mr Latham determine the best position and exact orientation for a hip implant based on patients specific anatomy and movement.

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