Traditional fixation of long bone fractures and the repair of detached tissues to bone is invasive, may require multiple surgeries and results in repairs that are often too rigid in construction or have suboptimal soft tissue fixation.
In Europe and the US approximately 5 million people suffer severe bone fractures or tissue to bone injuries. The annual costs associated with the treatment of these injuries are estimated at c. USD 20 bn for US and Europe.
Current techniques to treat these complex injuries include the use of titanium or metal screws and plates and/or nails.
Key disadvantages of the current techniques can include:
- Rigid fixation, especially around the joints
- Poor surgical options for metaphyseal and periarticular fragments
- Multiple surgeries required to implant, adjust and remove
- Fixation points are limited due to fixed hole locations on implants
The sports medicine market is expected to grow from USD 5.5 billion in 2020 to USD 7.2 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 5.7% during the forecast period
Current techniques to treat these complex sport injuries include the use of sutures to re-attach tissue to bone and suture anchors. Key disadvantages of the current techniques are that knotless suture anchors and the use of a surgical knots have the risk of suture creep and knot slippage, which can result in inadequate repair, longer rehabilitation and revision surgery.
The opportunity to utilise ultrasonic technology to intracorporeally weld implants together offers a number of distinct advantages over existing technologies:
Minimally invasive and more focused application
Where bone healing is concerned, the fixation can be made smaller and less complicated as welding can be utilized to achieve strong initial fixation. This gives surgeons the ability to fix more complex fractures.
Improved surgical outcomes
The use of the SutureWeld for fixing sutures in place without the use of a surgical knot has the potential to improve surgical outcomes by preventing suture creep and knot slippage for suture anchor use across a number of open and arthroscopic techniques.
Potential saving in average surgical procedure length
Reduced exposure to X-ray radiations
Reduction in procedure time will reduce exposure to X-ray radiation
Opportunities for further applications
Further opportunities to use the platform ultrasonic technology to weld polymer directly to bone; operate using weldable spinal cages; re-liquify bone cement for revision arthroplasty; and disinfect infected wounds