Orthopedics is the branch of medicine that deals with musculoskeletal problems, treating everything from infections to tumors to blunt-force trauma. Though orthopedics in some form or another has been around for centuries (first named in 1741, when the practice primarily focused on helping children), it is a continuously evolving practice, with new discoveries, methods, and products being implemented everyday. If you're curious as to how these new technologies can help ease any musculoskeletal issues in your own life, then here's what you need to know.
Though robots of some type or another are present in most fields of business nowadays, they can be easy to overlook since they don't look like the boxy, metal robots of last century's imaginings. Case in point: the MAKO robotic arm, made to help assist in orthopedic surgeries, especially those dealing with replacing knees and hips.
This arm not only offers increased accuracy during the surgery, but also allows for changes to be made quickly during surgery to account for knee kinematics. It also allows surgeons to see a 3D model of your body, letting them see exactly where the implants would go and how they would fit. All in all, this exciting invention has a 92% success rate, proving that it's helping patients to get better surgeries with a reduced recovery time.
In a world where 3D printing is no longer science fiction but has been used for everything from makeup to airplane parts, you may wonder why this fabulous technology hasn't been used for more medical purposes. Wonder no longer; scientists and doctors are now working on printing everything from bone graft supports to spinal implants to even entire hip systems as a benefit to their orthopedic customers. While this technology is still a year or two away from being available everywhere, these printed parts could not only reduce costs but also allow a patient to have their implants exactly tuned and formed to fit their body, helping the implant to work seamlessly with your preexisting skeleton.
It's not just a greeting anymore – the AMIS system of performing hip replacement surgeries (which stands for Anterior Minimally Invasive Surgery) is making waves as it becomes more and more popular (over 200,000 procedures have been performed since its development) in its ability to perform surgeries while refraining from cutting your actual musculature. This means you'll be able to walk and drive more quickly after AMIS, and you'll also have a reduced chance of heavy scarring and limping.
These new advancements can mean a better prognosis for surgery and/or a higher quality of life, so make sure to talk to your doctor about how better technology can help you. You may find that home medical supplies have also improved and can make self care much easier.