Diagnostic imaging, IT, surgery  

Digital tool for planning orthopaedic surgery from medical images

10 December 2005

Burlington, Vt., USA. Imagecast PACS for Orthopedics is a digital solution from IDX that offers orthopaedic surgeons software-based tools for orthopaedic image review, analysis and preoperative planning. It allows surgeons to plan surgery in advance, with greater accuracy, by measuring patient images using precise digital tools and overlaying electronic templates from a variety of implant vendors. With the Imagecast Pixels-on-Demand technology, orthopaedic image review and surgical pre-planning is rapidly available on any PC and web browser connected to the Internet or network. This streamlines workflow and allows clinicians to increase efficiency by planning surgeries from any location.

"As a growing number of orthopaedic practices and hospitals make the transition from film to all-digital environments, the demand for a filmless solution for orthopaedic surgeons is increasing," said Debra Stenner, Vice President Business Planning and Product Strategy, IDX Imagecast Operating Unit. "With the introduction of Imagecast PACS for Orthopedics, orthopaedic surgeons can take advantage of the same flexibility and specialized tools that radiologists have with today's PACS systems."

In a traditional film-based environment, orthopaedic surgeons perform surgical planning on x-rays by drawing lines and measuring angles. Using paper templates from prosthetics manufacturers, they plan joint replacements, spinal surgeries and trauma repairs. Templates are imprecise due to variations in magnification of individual x-rays and distortion of the image caused by the angle of projection, which can prevent the orthopaedic surgeon from selecting the correct prosthetic with reliable accuracy.

These obstacles to accurate, efficient preoperative planning are virtually eliminated with the cost-effective, easy-to-use digital templates and workflow tools that make up Imagecast PACS for Orthopaedics. The solution includes a library of templates and fixation elements for total hip, total knee, shoulder, and elbow replacements, as well as tools for measuring Cobb angle (used to evaluate patients with scoliosis) and transischial line measurement (which allows surgeons to assess leg length for total hip replacements).

Additional improvements over film-based image review include the ability to window and invert, optimizing diagnostic detail; magnify and pan a region of interest or enlarge the image; and measure distances and anatomical angles using the built-in caliper and goniometer. By allowing the orthopaedic surgeon to make precise measurements in the pre-planning stages, these tools can help shorten procedure time and improve patient outcomes.

Imagecast PACS for Orthopaedics is designed with an open standards platform, providing scalability for orthopaedic practices both small and large. The solution, which has received 510(K) FDA clearance, also provides connectivity to any modality or archive. Imagecast PACS for Orthopedics integrates seamlessly with the Imagecast worklist, allowing hospital customers to leverage their existing investment in IDX technology.

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