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Orthopaedic Specialty Updates

March 2017

New postprocedure care for orthopaedic surgery patients

University of Minnesota Health patients will have access to a new postoperative care program this spring, giving them the option to recover at a hotel room rather than in an overnight hospital stay. Orthopaedic surgery patients will be among the first in the hotel-based recovery program, before it expands into other specialties.

Patients in the program must meet health criteria and will have access to a nurse who can administer medications and attend to other needs. The Doubletree by Hilton Minneapolis-University Area hotel, opening in March and located 1 block from the Clinics and Surgery Center, will accommodate the recovering M Health patients. In a preliminary study on the program conducted by M Health physicians, no patients required readmission to the hospital, and patients reported greater comfort and satisfaction with their recovery in the semi-outpatient setting as compared to recovery in a hospital.

Simulations employed in arthroscopy training

University of Minnesota Health orthopaedic specialists and University of Iowa physicians are collaborating to test and validate a new arthroscopy simulator designed to help medical residents learn basic arthroscopic procedure skills. The virtual-reality training program, called Basic Arthroscopy Skills Evaluation and Curriculum (BASEC), allows trainees to simulate the use of an arthroscope. Using the simulator, orthopaedic residents can practice the skills needed to maneuver within a confined space using the 2-dimensional extrapolation to 3 dimensions that arthroscopy requires. Preliminary data show that residents who practice with the simulator are able to meet basic benchmarks for proficiency set by expert surgeons. Computer simulations have become an established element in orthopaedic training.

3D printers aid in shoulder procedures

Medical device companies are now using 3D printers to create custom-designed implants for individual patients with complex shoulder disorders. To date, 4 such implants have been successfully placed in patients by University of Minnesota Health orthopaedic surgeons specializing in shoulder procedures.

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