The Top 10 Innovations In Podiatry

Brian McCurdy, Senior Editor

   “The offset nature of the plate fits perfectly to the tarsometatarsal abutment and the medial face of the medial cuneiform, resulting in greater stability,” explains Dr. Smith, a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons who is in private practice in Edmond, Ok.

3. Complete Plantar Plate Repair System (Arthrex). The plantar plate can be a challenge for surgeons to repair but a new plate repair system can facilitate easier anatomical access. The Complete Plantar Plate Repair System allows plantar plate repair through a dorsal incision, according to the manufacturer Arthrex.

   “This is a hugely innovative technology,” says Dr. Weil. “The development of the procedure and the instrumentation will allow a very common foot problem to finally be repaired anatomically.”

   Arthrex notes that the system comes with Micro SutureLassos and a Mini Scorpion DX, which provide suture passing options in the plantar plate. The system’s Mini Joint Distractor can facilitate surgeon visualization and access to the confined space of the plantar plate, according to Arthrex.

   As Dr. Weil notes, the development of plantar plate pathology is nearly always mechanically based and previous plantar plate repairs inadequately address the totality of the problem. The Complete Plantar Plate Repair System is the first opportunity to address all aspects of the problem, according to Dr. Weil. This technology derives from arthroscopic shoulder surgery and he says it has been adapted and refined for the specific needs of the forefoot.

   Dr. Weil has been using the product’s general plate repair technology for almost six years. He says the system simplifies the plantar plate repair and makes the procedure reproducible for all foot and ankle surgeons. In addition, Dr. Weil says one can use the Arthrex system to appreciate pathology in its entirety from a dorsal perspective.

A Closer Look At Emerging Diagnostic Innovations

4. PedCAT (CurveBeam). Although surgeons consider weightbearing X-rays as the standard of care to evaluate non-traumatic foot injuries, Kent Feldman, DPM, notes that the two-dimensional nature of X-rays can often prevent one from making a true assessment of foot structure and alignment. He says the pedCAT (CurveBeam) solves this problem as it is the first three-dimensional weightbearing advanced foot and ankle imaging modality. Dr. Feldman has used the imaging device for eight months.

   Curvebeam notes that the pedCAT, which recently received FDA approval, uses computed tomography (CT) and can provide scans in under seven minutes. Dr. Feldman adds that single foot scan time is approximately 25 seconds, the two foot scan time is under one minute and computer processing time is under four minutes. As he says, the pedCAT allows one to evaluate the three-dimensional nature of the foot and ankle in a weightbearing position. Dr. Feldman says this capability assists in evaluating subluxations and dislocations, such as Lisfranc’s dislocations, and is helpful in the preoperative evaluation of flat feet.

   “The pedCAT is advantageous over traditional X-rays, which have inherent spatial flaws due to bony superimposition and radiographic distortions due to variable magnification (bones closest to the film are more anatomically correct and those farther from the film are magnified) and distortions due to beam angle,” says Dr. Feldman, a Diplomate of the American Board of Podiatric Surgery, who is in private practice in San Diego.

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