Robyn Towt didn't want new boobs. But when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy at 44, friends and doctors told her she needed to "look like a woman" and feel "whole" again. Implants would help put her "back together." "I was talked into it," Towt recently told me over a poolside phone call from her home in Arizona. She quickly regretted the decision. But it wasn't the look or feel of her new cleavage that was the problem. Rather, within days of her 2017 implant surgery, she developed strange symptoms, including severe insomnia and crippling fatigue.
Orthopedic surgeons are relying more and more on 3-D printing to build replacements for their patients' defective or worn out bones. This year surgeons around the world will implant tens of thousands of 3-D printed replacements parts for hips, knees, ankles, parts of the spine, and even sections of the skull. Most of them look a lot like their conventionally made titanium counterparts. But the first few 3-D printed implants tailored specifically to an individual's anatomy may hint at a future in which customized bone replacements are commonplace. Printed parts represent only a small fraction of the overall market for orthopedic implants, but for two important reasons that share could grow quickly in the coming years.
With the digital medicine revolution in full swing, just about every specialty will experience some form of health care technology impact. AI algorithms, deep learning systems, and neural networks are already being used to detect lung cancer, screen skin lesions, and predict acute kidney injury. In the surgical realm, technological advancements previously involved the use of computer-assisted surgery (CAS) to improve precision and facilitate minimally invasive approaches. The da Vinci Surgical System obtained FDA approval in 2000 and, according to the company website, has been used in more than 6 million procedures world-wide. In orthopedics, CAS was introduced in the 1990s with perhaps joint replacement surgery as its most popular and widespread application.
Expanded window to treat stroke patients. These are some of the innovations that will enhance healing and change healthcare this year, according to a distinguished panel of doctors and researchers. The list of up-and-coming technologies was selected by a panel of Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists, led by Michael Roizen, M.D., Chief Wellness Officer at the Ohio-headquartered organization. "Healthcare is ever changing and we anticipate that innovations such as cancer immunotherapy and pharmacogenomics will significantly transform the medical field and improve care for patients at Cleveland Clinic and throughout the world," said Dr. Roizen. The opioid crisis has been declared a public health emergency.
Arthritis sufferers are finding relief from elbow pain and immobility thanks to a titanium implant that meshes with the arm bones. Doctors hope the device's ability to grow with the bone will extend the implant's life – avoiding repeated operations for younger patients. Until now, elbow joint implants have been held in place with a fast-drying surgical cement. But a British surgeon is pioneering a cement-free implant that allows the bone to grow into it and adhere to it over time. Sometimes called a press-fit implant, they are commonly used in knee and hip joint replacement procedures.