MAXFRAME: The technology that will revolutionise deformity correction

Market leaders DePuy Synthes specialise in medical development for orthopaedics, spinal care and neuroscience. They have long led the way in medical equipment innovation, developing advanced operative and treatment solutions for a huge range of medical needs. With their latest launch they’re set to change the game for patients living with painful and debilitating limb deformities.

Such deformities can be congenital, developmental or the result of trauma or sickness, with long-term effects like chronic pain, restricted mobility and problems with joint alignment and musculoskeletal complications. Many patients currently face an average of around 37 outpatient visits over a 12 month period, with long and painful treatment processes unfortunately inevitable.

A common treatment option for patients suffering from limb deformity is called an ‘external fixation device’. This is a kind of frame that is fitted to the bone after corrective surgery, with pins inserted into the bone and held in place by an external frame. The pins are then manipulated over a period of time, to encourage bone growth and healing and provide support. This method of treatment relies on precise x-rays and manual measurements by surgeons, and needs continuous meticulous care. But with DePuy Synthes’ latest development there is a more intelligent, patient-centred treatment on the scene.

DePuy Synthes’ MAXFRAME System is a computer-assisted type of external fixation device which uses highly advanced 3D imaging technology to create a more accurate patient treatment plan than ever before. MAXFRAME’s planning software is based around algorithms rather than manual measurements to ensure that the device is offering bespoke support at all times. This innovative use of digital tools reduces doctor intervention and requires fewer inputs, and can dramatically reduce treatment time for the patient.

What makes the MAXFRAME System so special? Dr. J. Spence Reid, MD, Professor and Chief of Trauma Division, Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, says: "[It] incorporates three clinically important advantages that help provide great accuracy of correction for the patient and streamline the surgical phase of care. The software eliminates significant sources of error [as well as] the requirement of ring orthogonality. The system also allows maximum flexibility in the location of strut attachment points on the ring which makes frame application easier, particularly in complex cases, and the ASSURE-STRUT™ Technology allows the patient to confidently make strut adjustments."

Patients are able to adjust the struts on their external fixation device manually, with an audible ‘click’ to let them know when the strut is correctly positioned. This kind of control over maintaining the equipment allows for greater patient involvement in their treatment and means fewer trying hospital visits, which tends to increase patient satisfaction. Patients treated using the MAXFRAME System are likely to experience a quicker recovery with a better clinical outcome, meaning the treatment of limb deformities may be about to turn a huge corner with the help of technology.

In today’s challenging environment for medical practitioners and patients alike, innovations which allow for a reduction in manual treatment and human error are more important than ever. Patients all over the globe will benefit from this development, and surgeons will be supported too. The potential for improving patient care across all areas worldwide is massive, and as technology comes on in leaps and bounds, we’ll likely start to see more and more of these tech-supported inventions benefiting a huge range of patients and practitioners both at home and abroad. It’s so important that leading companies maintain their commitment to continuing to develop, improve and diversify treatment options for all.

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