A revolutionary technology in complex reconstructive and robotic surgery is offering amputees a significantly improved quality of life, providing them with far greater mobility and comfort.

The technique is called osseointegration and will be just one of the topics featured at theXXVI Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics 2017. Jointly hosted and sponsored by Griffith University, the eventis beingheld at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from 23-27 July.

Associate Professor Munjed Al Muderis, a Sydney-based orthopaedic surgeon, will be discussing how osseointegration has put Australia at the leading edge of the technology, and how new work at Griffith on virtual-reality technology and 3D printing techniques can guide the way to more accurately undertake the more complex of these surgeries.

“Osseointegration takes away all the old discomfort and mobility issues seen with the traditional socket-mounted prostheses that patients used to have to endure,” says Associate Professor Al Muderis.

“Now we’re able to directly attach a titanium implant into the limb, while the remaining muscle and nerves in the limb are able to be reconnected in order to reoperate the leg and effectively restore what they have lost.”

He says osseointegration is gaining in momentum across Australia with at least one surgeon in every state able to offer the technology, now that outcomes can be more easily predicted and a wider group of surgeons are being trained in how to perform it.

“Australia is very lucky to have a very low proportion of amputees, however our goal is to be able to make this surgery readily available for people in countries where there is most need and financial hardship eg in parts of Asia and the Middle East.”

Griffith University’s Gold Coast Orthopaedics Research Education (GCORE) is currently working on implementing new virtual-reality technology and 3D printing techniques to carry out ‘virtual surgeries’ on orthopaedic patients prior to a planned real surgery.

This work has the potential to work hand—in-hand with surgeries such as that carried out by Associate Professor Al Muderis, in order to accurately plan the surgery and significantly improve post-operative outcomes.

Griffith advancements in technology

As such, he is very positive about the Griffith advancements in technology.

“Griffith is at the forefront of this technology, and although it is still early days, we are hopeful that the ability to virtually assess a patient for surgery will have further beneficial effect for orthopaedic patients, especially those with more complex problems,” he says.

Professor David Lloyd from GCORE and Co-Chair of the Congress, says: “By using these techniques in the future we will be able to virtually assess a patient for surgery by looking at the potential effects on neurological, muscular and skeletal function.

“In this way, we are able to create ‘digital patients’ to significantly improve surgery for orthopaedic patients.”

Professor Lloyd says the technology, which has already been used to inform surgeries on children with hip fractures, also offers the capability to 3D print personalised cutting guides for children with bone deformity.

“3D printing is a technology capable of fabricating complex shapes and so we can utilise this to provide personalised cutting guides for children with bone deformity. This inclusion will result in better surgical correction for the child, leading to reduced surgical revision and enhanced post-operative function and ultimately increased capacity for activity and community participation.” ENDS

For more information on the conference program please visit http://www.biomech2017.com/index.php
Associate Professor Al Muderis is an Australian trained Orthopaedic Surgeon and a Squadron Leader in the Australian Air Force Reserve. He is also an Ambassador for the Australian Red Cross, human rights activist and a refugee. Munjed came to Australia by boat.

Born in Baghdad, at the age of 27, Munjed had to flee Iraq as a young Doctor having refused the orders of Saddam Hussein to mutilate army deserters’ ears. Munjed endured a life-threatening journey to Australia.

After spending 10 months in Curtin Detention Centre, upon his release, he embarked on a mission to become an Orthopaedic Surgeon.

He is now one of three surgeons world wide pioneering a revolutionary technology known as Osseointegration. As a leading surgeon in this complex reconstructive and robotic surgery, Munjed has helped more than 270 amputees from around the world to improve mobility, reduce pain and overall enhance their quality of life.

Munjed’s day-to-day work as an Orthopaedic Surgeon involves hip and knee arthroplasty and major reconstructive surgery.

He teaches at Notre Dame and Macquarie Universities, trains local and international surgeons, registrars and medical students. Apart from his academic and clinical roles, Munjed is heavily involved in humanitarian work volunteering his time as a surgeon and as a human rights advocate. He has affiliations with Amnesty International, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and represents the Australian Red Cross.