Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City successfully completes knee replacement surgery using hand-held accelerometer

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ABU DHABI, 15th August, 2021 – The orthopaedic surgery team at Abu Dhabi-based Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC), one of the UAE’s largest hospitals for serious and complex care and a joint-venture partnership between Mayo Clinic and Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), has successfully completed knee replacement surgery on an 85-year-old, female patient with a complex case using minimally invasive computer-guided technology.
Used for the first time in Abu Dhabi, the technology used in the surgery is known as a hand-held accelerometer navigation system, which aids in hip and knee replacement surgeries, making them more streamlined and time efficient.
Dr Feras Ya’ish, Orthorpedic Surgeon at SSMC, said, “Our patient had difficulty walking due to the heavy pain in both her left and right knees, and she also had severe arthritis in her right knee. The patient has existing metalwork inserted into her thigh bone which was from a years-old fracture that would have made the knee replacement procedure difficult. She did require the surgery to restore her mobility, but her case was considerably complex, which is why she was referred to SSMC.”
A secondary challenge was that the patient is of an advanced age with preexisting comorbidities including ischemic heart disease, lung disease, and renal failure. To ensure maximum benefit from the knee replacement, the patient’s knee was initially injected for temporary pain relief for a few weeks, which also helped restore a certain degree of mobility. Once the pain improved, the patient’s walking improved, which was a key indication that performing the knee replacement surgery would be effective in improving her overall mobility.
“The best option for her was to do the knee replacement while keeping the existing metal. This was the catalyst for us exploring the hand-held accelerometer device, as it doesn’t require penetration of the bone, which is much safer for patients, especially those who are older. It also gives accurate bone cuts and bone alignment, which is research-proven. Applying the device typically takes about four minutes, and we applied it on the knee itself, moving it as the technology learnt the orientation of the bone to give us the alignment where the bone needed to be cut, without breaching or penetrating the bone itself. From cutting to dressing, the surgery took one hour and ten minutes, and was a success. The patient was able to stand the very next day and was walking by the following day,” Dr. Ya’ish continued.

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