Dublin inventor’s magic fix for hip fractures gains US patent

15 Jan 2015

Dr Brian Thornes, X-Bolt Orthopaedics

Dublin medical-device company X-Bolt Orthopaedics has been granted a US patent for its novel device for fixing hip fractures.

The US patent was granted just before Christmas and will remain in force until 27 January 2032.

Addressing a real problematic gap in the global hip fracture market, the X-Bolt Hip Nailing system improves the efficiency of current hip-fracture treatment and reduces the requirement for costly and often devastating repeat surgery. 

The jig is an integral part of the X-Bolt Hip Nailing system and will greatly facilitate surgery and allow for an easier and faster operating time.

The jig is up for hip fractures

Former orthopaedic surgeon Dr Brian Thornes established X-Bolt Orthopaedics in 2007 to develop a unique expanding bolt medical device for hip-fracture fixation. The X-Bolt Nailing system utilises the X-Bolt expanding bolt for femoral head fixation, which is common across the company’s hip plating and nailing systems.

The X-Bolt gives stronger in-situ hold and rotational stability versus traditional lag screws in hip-fracture fixation. Novel and concise instrumentation allows for faster operating time, with less hospital inventory. Stronger fixation reduces complications and average bed stay, thus providing significant savings to hospitals.

“The granting of a US patent for the X-Bolt Hip Nailing system jig means we can continue to provide additional innovative solutions for orthopaedic surgeons,” Thornes said.

“Being able to operate an instrument outside of the body, around a corner and into the medullary cavity of the femur eliminates a known fiddle-factor issue and speeds up operating time. This novel jig concept is also easily adaptable to other intramedullary nailing systems, such as the distal femur, humerus and tibia.”

Thornes previously invented, developed and licensed the ankle ‘TightRope’ concept and device to Florida-based Arthrex in 2003.

To date, more than 150,000 TightRopes have been implanted worldwide, with many football and rugby professionals amongst its recipients.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years