This is not your grandpa’s knee-replacement surgery. But it could be your grandson’s down the road. IU Health Saxony Hospital’s Dr. R. Michael Meneghini, surgical director of joint replacement, is using 3-D–printed implants for a newfangled cementless procedure. With an engineering background to boot, Meneghini helped design and develop the Stryker Triathlon Tritanium Knee System, an option that’s quickly gaining popularity among the younger, active patient set. Unlike its cement-anchored predecessor, the new technology blends titanium powder and highly porous metal to allow the new knee to better fuse with growing bone tissue for more secure support. And—bonus—it costs less to manufacture than traditional implants.
Several local hospitals are tapping into the telemedicine trend with electronics that would make the Jetsons jealous. For instance, at St. Vincent’s Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital, teacher Sandy Smith uses “Rosie” the Double Robotics machine (left) to connect patients with their teachers and friends during hospital stays, keeping them up to speed during homework, classroom discussions, and even field trips. “Bringing the rich learning environment of a classroom to a homebound or hospitalized student can be very difficult,” Smith says. “It is important for patients to feel in touch with their classroom, and Rosie helps to normalize the hospital environment.” The technology isn’t just for kids. The RP-Lite by InTouch Health in use at Franciscan St. Francis Health’s Mooresville campus is also much more than a talking head, although that’s exactly what it looks like—a doctor’s face appearing on a laptop or tablet screen mounted atop Wall-E’s body. The device is a crucial part of the health system’s TeleStroke initiative, which provides patients in outlying areas remote access to trained professionals for immediate stroke evaluation and treatment. The RP-Lite apparatus connects an on-call neurologist at the Indianapolis campus with Mooresville patients and physicians for consultation, examinations, and diagnostics. The end game? Faster treatment, which can make all the difference in the event of a stroke or other neurological emergency.
There’s a Zap for That
If you’re prone to kidney stones, you’ll be happy to know that Hendricks Regional Hospital in Danville is armed with a LithAssist. This handheld device produced by Bloomington-based Cook Medical makes getting rid of kidney or bladder stones easier by offering more precise laser access (through an incision) and better suction to remove the material. Until now, a medical assistant controlled the suction by kinking and un-kinking a tube, like a garden hose. LithAssist lets the doctor do it all faster with the squeeze of a trigger.