New patient-specific guide revolutionizes orthopaedic surgeries to benefit younger, active patients

    KINGSTON, Oct. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - A patient-specific guide for hip surgery
developed by researchers at the Human Mobility Research Centre, a joint
venture between Kingston General Hospital and Queen's University, has been
exclusively licensed to a large U.S. orthopaedics company by the university's
technology transfer office, PARTEQ Innovations.
    This revolutionary surgical tool is an innovative drill template created
by using three-dimensional computer models from a patient's computed
tomography, or CT scan (CT scans use diagnostic imaging to produce precise
cross-sectional images of anatomical structures.) With specially engineered
software, these images are then used to create a surface-matched plastic
drilling template to exactly fit the patient's bone structure. These
patient-specific forms, augmented by a novel verification component, enable
surgeons to more precisely and accurately align and place the metallic
implants used in hip resurfacing and other related surgeries.
    "The three-dimensional advantage of the CT scan is incorporated into the
design to create a customized form that increases accuracy and efficiency in
the OR," says Dr. John Rudan, orthopaedic surgeon at Kingston General Hospital
and Professor of Surgery at Queen's University. Dr. Rudan is also Vice
President of Clinical Relations at iGO Technologies Inc., the Kingston-based
medical technology firm that assisted with the customized surgical planning
software development. "The virtual representation in this form of
computer-assist surgery allows for better reproducibility and a reduction in
    Dr. Rudan originally designed the drill template for a procedure known as
hip resurfacing arthroplasty. This relatively new surgical technique preserves
more of the bone structure than with traditional hip replacements in which the
entire femur head is replaced with an artificial joint. With this newer, less
radical technique, only the damaged cartilage on the femur head is removed and
replaced with a metal cap, providing a more natural range of motion for the
patient and a return to normal activity levels. To date the guide has been
successfully used in nearly 50 hip resurfacing procedures at Kingston General
Hospital, a leading health sciences centre located in southeastern Ontario.
    A significant challenge with this unique form of joint surgery is that
precise placement of the metal implant is critical to prevent undue strain on
the remaining healthy bone structure. There are few surgeons in the world
skilled enough in freehand drilling to accomplish this precision, so
computer-assist surgery systems are used to achieve precise placement. With
the development of this new patient-specific drill template, orthopaedic
surgeons are able to quickly and accurately align the metal cap, thereby
reducing operating room time and postoperative complications for improved
patient outcomes.
    Most important, this drill template allows surgeons at hospitals anywhere
to perform this advanced surgical procedure without the necessity for complex
and expensive computer-assist operating room infrastructure usually found only
at health sciences and research centres such as Kingston General Hospital.
    The drill template has applications in other orthopaedic procedures, such
as knee and ankle replacements and shoulder surgeries similar to hip
resurfacing arthroplasy. All of these procedures are geared towards the
younger, more active patients who would otherwise outlive traditional total
joint replacements and be left with permanent impaired mobility and decreased
quality of life.
    The guide was created at the Human Mobility Research Centre by Dr. Rudan
and Dr. Manuela Kunz, the mechanical and software engineer behind this
exciting and innovative tool. This world-class research facility is shared by
a multidisciplinary group of leading clinician-scientists, basic scientists
and engineers interested in the mechanisms of musculoskeletal diseases and
    With the licensing agreement now in place, patients and surgeons around
the world will benefit from this important advancement in orthopaedic surgery,
says Dr. Kunz.
    "This is a completely new way of performing navigational surgery,
allowing patients and surgeons access to the most advanced techniques outside
of the clinical research setting," she explains. "It is very rewarding to see
the results of research commercialized to allow a greater number of patients
to ultimately benefit."

    About the Human Mobility Research Centre

    The centre is a partnership between Queen's University and Kingston
General Hospital (KGH) and serves as a point of collaboration between the
disciplines of medicine, engineering, health sciences, and information
technology. HMRC provides shared research space and services for clinicians,
orthopaedic surgeons, university faculty, students, and industry. The centre
is located at KGH and includes specialized labs for connective tissue,
bio-simulation, tissue processing, prosthesis design, software development,
and gait analysis, as well as one of the world's first computer-enhanced
surgical suites.

    About Kingston General Hospital:

    Affiliated with Queen's University, Kingston General Hospital is a
456-bed specialized teaching and research hospital that serves more than
500,000 people in southeastern Ontario and is the community hospital for the
Kingston area. KGH provides an array of specialized acute and ambulatory
clinical services including trauma, cardiac, stroke, pediatric, perinatal, end
stage renal and stem cell transplants. Home to the Cancer Centre of
Southeastern Ontario, KGH is dedicated to compassionate, high quality health
care in a dynamic academic research environment. It features a robust research
program and provides hands-on skill training for close to 1,900 health-care
students annually. For more information, visit the web site at .

    About Queen's University

    Queen's University at Kingston is one of Canada's oldest and most
prestigious universities and is consistently ranked among Canada's top five
medical-doctoral schools in the annual surveys by Maclean's and the Globe and
Mail. This esteemed reputation is a reflection of the University's dedication
to excellence in all aspects of its academic, research and extracurricular
programs. Enrolment currently stands at almost 18,000 students (undergraduate
and graduate), who are drawn from every Canadian province and territory, and
from 98 other countries.

    About PARTEQ Innovations:

    PARTEQ Innovations is the not-for-profit technology transfer arm of
Queen's University. PARTEQ works with researchers and the business and venture
capital communities to bring early stage technologies to market. Since 1987
PARTEQ has been instrumental in the establishment of more than 40 companies
developing a variety of products, from potential drugs for Alzheimer's, cancer
and heart disease to automated bacteria detection for water systems,
solar-powered appliances, and advanced materials used in the plastics,
automotive, aerospace and household appliance industries.

For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Kim Kattouw, KGH Public Affairs,
(613) 549-6666, ext. 4687, pager  (613) 536-7733,; Mary
Anne Beaudette, PARTEQ, (613) 533-6000, ext. 78238 or mbeaudette@

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