When a patient receives a new hip, it is usually adjusted only approximately to leg length. Greater accuracy requires a more precise measuring process as well as adjustable implants. Now, a new type of measurement method coupled with a modular implant should allow orthopedic surgeons to precisely calibrate leg length after the operation so it matches its original length. The researchers will be introducing their development at the Medtec expo in Stuttgart, April 21-23 (Hall 7, Booth B04).
A painful hip that feels unstable and no longer has the same range of motion: For many patients, this means they need a prosthetic hip – something that happens to more than 200,000 people each year in Germany alone. Implant manufacturers face numerous challenges; for example, the artificial joints may eventually break. In addition, orthopedic surgeons currently have no suitable method for precisely measuring leg length before the operation or for adjusting the implants accordingly. The result is that after the operation, the leg can actually be longer or shorter than it used to be. This leads to problems with the spine, which have to be resolved using shoe inserts.
Measuring system for determining leg length.
© Fraunhofer IWU