Calgary Innovator Gives Surgeons a Helping Hand

    Limb Positioner for Joint Surgeries Wins Accolades

    CALGARY, Aug. 27 /CNW/ - Calgary biomed engineer Brent King is to win a
$10,000 Manning Innovation Award for inventing a unique device to accurately
and securely position a surgical patient's limb.
    The SPIDER Limb Positioner is excellent for specialized procedures such
as rotator cuff repairs or wrist arthroscopy. Not only does the SPIDER improve
the surgeon's ability to do delicate work, it reduces costs in the operating
room. The surgeon can reposition the limb in seconds simply by stepping on a
foot pedal. Staff who would otherwise need to hold the limb during the surgery
are free to perform other tasks.
    The SPIDER has become so popular with surgeons that many refuse to work
without one. Dr. Cyril Frank is a professor and surgeon with the McCaig
Institute for Bone and Joint Health at the University of Calgary's Faculty of
Medicine. He notes that the SPIDER is "an indispensable positioning tool used
around the world by thousands of surgeons on hundreds of thousands of
    Boston, Massachusetts General Hospital, the Clinique Générale of Annecy,
France and all of Calgary's hospitals are among the many institutions that use
    King is Vice President of Operations, Co-Owner, and an engineer with
TENET Medical Engineering, Inc., the Calgary, Alberta company that designs,
assembles and packages the SPIDER. King developed the technology after joining
TENET in 1997. The company is now worth about $8 million, with over $9.8
million in revenue for the 2008-2009 fiscal year.
    The positioner is a pneumatic-hydraulic device powered by a compressed
air supply. Specialized attachments make the SPIDER suitable for use in
particular surgeries. Although the positioner already attaches to most
surgical tables, King continues to work on expanding the technology for new
    UK-based Smith and Nephew Plc. distributes the SPIDER Limb Positioner in
over 50 countries around the world. To date, over 2100 units have been sold.

    The Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation

    This year the Foundation will award $145,000 to leading Canadian
innovators plus $20,000 to Young Canadians chosen at the 2009 Canada-Wide
Science Fair.
    The Foundation was established in 1980 to promote and support Canadian
innovators. This Innovation Award has been sponsored by Katch Kan(TM) Ltd.
Since 1982, the Foundation has presented over $4 million in prize money. The
2009 awards will be presented at an awards gala on Friday, September 18 in
Vancouver, BC.
    A Media Backgrounder about the innovator and his work is now available on
the Foundation's website, with video available after September 18, 2009:
    For more information on the Foundation, contact Bruce Fenwick, Executive
Director: 403-645-8288 or

For further information:

For further information: about the SPIDER limb positioner and to view
surgical videos, visit or contact Brent King: (403)
571-0750 (office), (403) 561-1558 (cell) or

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