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St. Vincent Surgeon Performs Breakthrough Knee Revision Surgery

By Rebecca Gallant on 
Posted on June 4, 2018

St. Vincent Surgeon Performs Breakthrough Knee Revision Surgery

Technology improves patient outcomes, better mobility

CLEVELAND, OHIO (JUNE 4, 2018) – St. Vincent Charity Medical Center’s Dr. Bernard Stulberg recently became the first orthopedic surgeon in the country to perform total knee revision surgery utilizing the latest GPS technology. The procedure marks a breakthrough in knee revision surgery, helping to identify the cause of implant failure and ensuring precise implant replacement to improve patient mobility.

Dr. Stulberg, world renowned for his expertise in total hip and knee revision surgeries, performed the surgery utilizing ExactechGPS®, a surgeon-controlled, computer-assisted surgical technology that provides real-time, intraoperative data during total joint arthroplasty. The technology helps provide orthopedic surgeons insight into the cause of an implant failure, feedback of anatomical and mechanical alignment, and component sizing.

“Revision surgeries are more complicated than an initial knee replacement because you are dealing with a surgical procedure that failed. Properly identifying and addressing the causes of failure for a particular patient is critical to the success of a revision operation. Expertise with revision surgery comes with experience,” Dr. Stulberg said. “Prior to this GPS technology, there have been few tools that we can use during surgery to confirm our judgments quantitatively. This GPS technology documented the existing abnormalities that caused my patient’s pain and instability and helped guide the sizing and positioning of the new implant to correct those abnormalities.”

During the surgery, Dr. Stulberg placed trackers on the patient’s bone, which gathered data on the patient’s anatomical structure and joint movement. The system analyzed the information and then displayed it on a computer screen in a graphical format with calculated key measurements. Utilizing the system, Dr. Stulberg was then able to develop a personalized approach designed for his patient’s specific anatomy, ensuring precise placement and stability of the new implant, while minimizing additional bone loss and tissue disruption.

“Accurate placement is critical to ensuring the overall longevity and function of an implant,” Dr. Stulberg said. “This system essentially provides a unique road map for each individual patient to consistently deliver successful results. The result of this surgery was restoration of alignment and stability of a previously unstable total knee arthroplasty.”

Developing more precise procedures for knee revision surgeries becomes increasingly important, Dr. Stulberg said, due to the dramatic drop in the average age of Americans undergoing knee replacement surgeries. A study presented at the 2014 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons found a 188 percent increase over the last 10 years in knee replacement surgeries among 45 to 64 year olds. During this same time, the number of revision surgeries increased by more than 130 percent.

“Given that the average knee implant can last 15 to 20 years, we know we are going to continue to see an increase in the need for revision knee replacement” Dr. Stulberg said. “Given the wide range of complications that can occur with total knee surgery, we need new technologies, such as the ExactechGPS, that provide quantitative information to guide decisions to ensure that they are addressed successfully during revision surgery.”

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About St. Vincent Charity Medical Center:
Cleveland’s first and only downtown hospital, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center is the city’s faith-based, high-quality health care provider. Our distinguished doctors and caregivers are devoted to treating every patient with clinical excellence and compassionate care. Home to the renowned Spine and Orthopedic Institute and the Center for Bariatric Surgery, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center has complete services in cardiovascular, emergency medicine, primary care, occupational health, behavioral health and addiction medicine. Owned by the Sisters of Charity Health System, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center has provided Care Beyond Medicine since 1865.  

Media Contact:
Rebecca Gallant, Office: 216.696.8408, Cell:216.288.0239, rgallant@sistersofcharityhealth.org


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