Researchers led by Andrew Palosaari from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCLA have developed a novel way to guide ACL grafts and prevent femoral wall blowout during ACL reconstruction.
There are over 175,000 ACL reconstructions per year and has an expected growth rate of 6% per year. Unfortunately, ACL reconstructions have a failure rate of about 13%, most of which are due to problems in positioning the new ACL graft in the femur. The positioning of the new graft requires tunneling through the femur, however today’s surgeons use primitive tools like visual guides or a simple laser to plan the angle in which to create the tunnel. These methodologies imprecisely estimates the distance between the new tunnel and the posterior wall of the femur and can lead to what is called a posterior wall blowout. When this happens the surgeon must create a second tunnel in which to anchor the ACL graft. This leads to longer surgery time, higher costs due to the extended time, increased femur bone loss, and most importantly, a higher rate of graft failure, which has further costly implications.
Researchers led by Andrew Palosaari from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCLA have developed a novel way to guide ACL grafts and prevent femoral wall blowout during ACL reconstruction. Their invention uses magnets and magnetic sensors to precisely calculate the distance from the created tunnel for the ACL graft to the posterior wall of the femur. A magnetic sensor can be attached to the posterior wall and stay flush with it despite all of the different contours. This allows for a precise measurement rather than estimation by the other techniques. The magnetic sensor detects a magnetized wire in the drill bit to calculate the distance and display it on a monitor, and the surgeon can adjust the tunnel path accordingly. This technique can decrease the failure rate of ACL reconstruction while also giving the surgeon an amount of comfort and precision that was not available before.
Magnetic sensors, sensors, ACL, arthroscopic surgery, knee, femor, tibia, reconstruction, orthopaedics, surgical tools, medical device, surgery