By Laura Freeman
Michael K. Ryan, MD of Andrews Sports Medicine is a rare orthopedic surgeon.
In addition to the anterior approach hip replacements he performs at Ascension St. Vincent’s Medical Center, he is one of the few surgeons in the country who also does complex osteotomies for conditions like hip dysplasia, as well as arthroscopies to relieve symptoms without the need for a total hip replacement.
“The OrthoGrid application helps me perform all three to the very best of my abilities,” Ryan said. “In hip surgeries, we are guided by intraoperative x-rays projected on a screen. However, these images tend to have distortions that can make precise measurements more challenging.
“The OrthoGrid software takes the original x-ray and corrects the distortions. It sets up an overlay on a second screen with a virtual guidewire. I can use touch screen tools to easily measure parameters like distance and angles.”
One of the world’s first intraoperative hip surgery navigation systems, the OrthoGrid platform improves the efficiency, accuracy and reproducibility of hip surgeries. The newest release of the application uses AI and machine learning capabilities for even greater precision, functionality and seamless integration into the OR workflow. The navigation system can be used in surgical planning and through each step of the procedure.
“Every patient who comes to us has a unique anatomy with bones and joints that differ in size and how they fit together. The nature and location of the hip makes us more dependent on imaging for it, compared to joints like the knee that is easier to visualize. That’s why these capabilities can make such a difference,” Ryan said.
The Orthogrid technology automatically registers the patient’s anatomy and retains it in the surgical file. It identifies instruments and implants, and it processes data through the surgery in accordance with the surgeon’s workflow.
Ryan’s expertise is in hip preservation and improving function in congenital hip disorders. When Ascension Saint Vincent’s was looking at acquiring a hip surgery navigation system, Ryan considered other systems but only the Orthogrid application offered tools that he could use across a broader range of hip surgeries.
“If I’m doing an arthroscopy or osteotomy to correct hip dysplasia, I can see exactly how much bone I need to trim and how I need to position the joint for optimal function,” he said. “For a hip replacement, I know where to cut and how to place the new joint to avoid stress and wear. This helps us give the patient more years of functional use and may help to avoid the need for a second replacement later.”
Designer OrthoGrid Systems, Inc., has also been working on an augmented reality program to assist surgeons in repairing injuries from trauma. It is expected to offer many similar advantages as the OrthoGrid navigation platform and to help physicians and surgeons work quickly and efficiently in emergency situations.
“I found the OrthoGrid platform very intuitive and easy to learn,” Ryan said. “A company rep shadowed me for a couple of days, showing me the nuances of how the system works and some of its special features. I was soon using it in most of my hip surgeries. Some surgeons use it with robotic systems, but I work with it hands-on. It gives me better data so I can make the best decisions.
“At the end of the day, it’s all about outcomes. The precision, efficiency and consistency the OrthoGrid application helps me achieve gives my patients the best possible surgery for a good outcome.”