Medical device breakthrough for Dublin firm

6 Oct 2010

Surgeons have responded favourably to a new medical device created by Dublin firm SOTA Orthopaedics. The O-Jig device for tension wiring takes the guesswork out of pin placement in elbow operations.

SOTA Orthopaedics developed the olecranon (elbow bone) drill guide, which was launched directly to surgeons in Ireland and the UK earlier this year.

SOTA develops innovative, orthopaedic medical devices to facilitate surgery and improve outcomes for trauma and orthopaedic patients. To date, the O-Jig device has been utilised by 30 surgeons across Ireland and the UK.

The primary benefit of the O-Jig is that it takes the guesswork out of pin placement. By accurately guiding the surgeons’ pins, any risk of soft tissue impingement is avoided and therefore dramatically reduces the need for secondary surgery.

Hannan Mullett, consultant orthopaedic surgeon specialising in upper limb surgery in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, and the Sports Surgery Clinic in Dublin, explained the benefits of the O-Jig.

“Removal of metal surgery following olecranon fracture surgery is a significant issue both for patients and for surgeons, causing unnecessary additions to crowded theatre lists. Using bio-absorbable pins guided by a specialised jig may significantly reduce the need for follow-up surgery that is currently required in about 50pc of cases.”

O-Jig device overseas

The O-Jig device is CE certified and has been approved for sale within the United States. Over the next 12 months, SOTA Orthopaedics is aiming to increase its customer base of surgeons within Ireland and the UK and have already begun trialling the guide with a small number of surgeons in the US.

“Traditionally, tension band wiring has been performed freehand,” explained Dr Brian Thornes, founder and chief executive of SOTA Orthopaedics Ltd.

“The O-Jig enables the surgeon to secure first-time accurate pin placement. It is ideally suited for use with bio-absorbable pins that are invisible on x-ray and virtually eliminate the need for additional surgery. At a time when reducing costs are a major priority across the healthcare sector, this device has the potential to make a major impact for both surgeons and patients alike.”

“(The year) 2010 has been a milestone year for SOTA Orthopaedics, apart from the positive market reaction to the O-Jig device we have made significant development strides in our latest device (X-Bolt), which is an expanding bolt device that gives significantly better fixation in osteoporotic hip fractures. We aim to make a number of significant announcements about the X-Bolt device in the first quarter of 2011,” Thornes said.

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