LEDA Ortho

Elbow

Upper Limb Trauma Specialists

Maia

MAÏA™ Carpometacarpal Prosthesis

Established in October 2013, LEDA Orthopaedics began life as a sales agency and quickly grew into a UK and European distributor with innovative suppliers from all over the world. Founding directors David Plane and Jon Bloy have over 30 years’ collective experience in the orthopaedic industry and a passion for the sector that shines through in their commitment to the business to this day. Read More…

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Latest News

Elsevier non solus
Patient recovery times for orthopaedic plate removal

As medical practitioners, we must do what’s best for the patient with all the skills, experience, and technology at our disposal. Where most modern internal fixation systems will not cause any discomfort for years, it is never guaranteed. Therefore, situations may arise that warrant the removal of orthopaedic plates from the body. In order to recommend this course of action, it is necessary to make patients aware of the potential consequences. This includes the reasoning, process, and recovery time. The latter of which we shall be focusing on here.

 

When is plate removal necessary?

The removal of an orthopaedic plate for internal fixation is often only required when the plate itself is causing significant issues in the patient. This can be due to pain, discomfort, infection, allergic reaction, non-union, or other complication arising due to the individual’s biology. In these cases, the plate has served its function of stabilising the affected area bone. However, it still remains in the body.

Although the surgical procedure needed to remove the plate causes little discomfort to the patient, it is often highly skill-intensive for the surgeon. A small incision is made in the skin above the fixation site, which allows access to the hardware. Once the screws and plates have been removed from the body, any soft tissue can be repositioned and the incision can be closed. Some of the potential risks associated with plate removal surgery include:

  • Refracture.
  • Possibility for only partial removal.
  • Nerve damage.
  • Bleeding and blood clots.

 

Patient recovery times following orthopaedic plate removal

When considering patient recovery time from surgeries involving bone structures, practitioners must focus on bone strength. In cases of orthopaedic plate removal, it has been shown that it often takes around 6 months for patient bone strength to recover fully. In the weeks immediately following the procedure, patients will likely feel week and only notice recovery to start properly after 2-3 months. This may vary depending on what the plate was used to treat when it was initially implanted. For instance, fragment plating for a distal radius fracture or wrist plating for fractures caused by a direct impact. Here, patient recovery times can be shortened by plating systems that fit flush to patient anatomy as they reduce risks in the removal process.

 

Factors that can impact patient recovery times

As is the case with any invasive procedure, there can a range of patient-specific factors that can lead to longer recovery times. This includes:

  • Age.
  • Genetics.
  • Long term conditions.
  • Past surgeries and injuries.

Patient advice following surgery

Patients may understandably have a number of questions regarding what they should and shouldn’t do in the weeks following the plate removal procedure. This can cover a range of areas, such as:

  • Washing – keep dressings clean and dry at all times. Bathing the wound may be permitted 2-3 weeks after the surgery, with a follow-up consultation typically taking place during this time.
  • Changing dressings – using clean hands, remove the tensor bandage if one is present and then throw away the used white gauze bandages. Cover the wound with new dressing, taking care to make sure the pressure is moderate.
  • Wound care – it’s normal for some fluid to ooze from the area in the first 24-48 hours after surgery. This can be cause to replace the dressing, which can be bought from most pharmacies. In between replacing the dressing, it is recommended that the area is cleaned lightly.
  • Activities – recommendations will depend on the location where the surgery has been performed. For instance, lower extremity plate removal will typically need greater care. In either case, physical therapy is not usually needed.

Patients should be advised to call a healthcare professional if they experience persistent pain, swelling, fever, nausea, bleeding, or shortness of breath post-operation.

 

Source industry leading orthopaedic implants

The team at LEDA Orthopaedics specialise in distributing leading products for use in osteotomy surgeries and internal fixation procedures. You can regularly find us attending medical events across the UK to help share surgical knowledge and advance the field. This includes techniques and devices for the extremities, as well as niche applications. Contact us for more information about our suppliers.

May, 2024
Elsevier non solus
When is small joint fusion necessary?

A joint fusion is exactly what it sounds like – it’s a procedure that holds the two ends of bone in place at the joint and allows them to fuse together. The result is that the bones in the joint are permanently held in the same position. Joint fusions are frequently performed at small joints for a number of reasons, which we’ll be discussing in this article.

 

Small joint fusion procedures

Joint fusion surgery typically begins with a small incision at the back side of the joint. This is typically guided with X-rays, although L3D Osteotomy Planning can be used to great effect here as well. This technology creates 3D models of patient anatomical structures, which allows surgeons to plan procedures with absolute precision. This can be crucial in reducing risk of damage to surrounding soft tissues during orthopaedic surgeries.

Ligaments are carefully moved to either side of the joint in preparation for open reduction and internal fixation. An expert surgeon can then remove damaged pieces of bone and cartilage at the joint, allowing the bone ends to be brough together. Connective hardware is applied to hold the bones in position and allow them to fuse together. Fixation can be achieved through a combination of orthopaedic devices, such as arthrodesis screws and plates. Bone grafts may be needed to replace sections of bone before fusion, although this will depend on the condition of the bones at the joint.

 

Why perform small joint fusions?

One of the most common reasons to recommend a joint fusion is in patients suffering from complications due to osteoarthritis. Here, small joint fusions in particular see regular use as the condition tends to affect smaller joints that are used more often (hand and wrist). For instance, those experiencing carpometacarpal joint pain. Alongside arthritis symptoms, any disease that causes a degradation in bone stock can be a cause for joint fusions.

Oftentimes, small joint fusions are recommended once other procedures have proven ineffective for the patient. Fortunately, there are orthopaedic implants which have been specifically designed for finger joint replacements. These are the DIGITALIS MCP and DIGITALIS PIP respectively, both supplied by BRM Extremities.

 

Patient recovery from joint fusion

In most cases, it takes 4-6 weeks for a patient to make a full recovery from a small joint fusion. During this time, it is recommended that they apply a splint and/or strapping to the affected area to limit movement. However, recovery time may be extended by various factors relating to the patient or the kinds of activities they wish to return to. For instance, if the patient’s job involves lifting heavy objects it could best to recommend 6-8 weeks before they return to work. This helps to avoid the main complication which can arise from the procedure – bones failing to fuse. In these cases, additional surgery might be required to achieve permanent fusion. Although through the application proper fixation devices and orthopaedic expertise, this should not be necessary.

 

Leaders in orthopaedic solutions

At LEDA orthopaedics, we are proud to be at the forefront of patient care through providing solutions to ongoing bone conditions. We partner with distributors of orthopaedic devices, systems, and instrumentation from around the world to bring innovation and quality to the operating theatre. Contact us directly through our website to discuss how we can help advance the industry.

May, 2024
Elsevier non solus
When is an elbow splint needed for a patient?

As medical practitioners, providing good patient experiences is just as important as securing positive outcomes. In this regard, prescribing post-operative support is among the most effective options at our disposal. It could be recommendations for physical exercises to strengthen joints, or systems that limit movement to prevent re-injury. For the latter, elbow splints see regular use in patients that are recovering from upper extremity surgery. Below are some of the common reasons why orthopaedic surgeons may find it necessary to fit a patient with an elbow splint.

 

Function of an elbow splint

Elbow splinting can come as either static or dynamic, depending on the range of motion it allows at the joint. A static elbow splint holds the elbow in place and does not allow for any movement. In contrast, a dynamic elbow splint allows basic bending and straightening (hinge) of the elbow. Although it can also be locked in a specific position to fully limit movement. The goal of elbow splinting is to promote healing at the elbow joint following elbow trauma and/or elbow surgery. This is accomplished by keeping the joint warm, helping increase blood flow, and controlling movement, which can prevent further injuries.

 

Reasons for fitting an elbow splint

There are several reasons why a patient might need to wear an elbow splint:

  • Fractures: Following a fracture or break in one of the bones of the elbow (such as the radius, ulna, or humerus), a splint may be used to immobilize the elbow joint and allow the bones to heal properly.
  • Strains or sprains: Injuries to the ligaments or tendons around the elbow joint, such as a sprained ligament or strained muscle, may require immobilization to reduce pain and promote healing over time.
  • Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis): This condition involves inflammation of the tendons on the outside of the elbow. A splint can help to reduce strain on these tendons and provide support during activities that aggravate the condition. This condition can also occur in patients that regularly play a range of sports, with another common example being Golf.
  • Olecranon Bursitis: This is inflammation of the bursa, a fluid-filled sac that cushions the bones of the elbow. A splint can help to reduce pressure on the bursa and alleviate pain.
  • Post-Surgery: After certain surgeries on the elbow, such as ligament repairs, joint replacement, or osteotomies, a splint may be used to immobilize the joint and protect the surgical site during the initial stages of healing.
  • Preventative Measures: In some cases, especially for individuals who engage in repetitive activities that put strain on the elbow joint, a splint may be used as a preventative measure to reduce the risk of injury or to provide support during rehabilitation.

It’s important that healthcare professionals assess the specific condition and needs of the patient to determine whether a splint is appropriate and, if so, what type of splint would be most beneficial. Each case will likely also lead to an elbow splint being recommended for differing periods of time. Additionally, advice should be given on proper fitting and usage instructions to ensure the effectiveness of the splint.

eXo Eblow Splint

The Jake Design eXo Elbow Splint has been designed expressly to aid patients in postoperative recovery. This dynamic splint is simple to adjust, lightweight, comfortable, and washable. The eXo splint can also be used to treat those suffering from joint afflictions such as arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome.

 

Access devices for quality patient care

At LEDA Orthopaedics, we are aware of the complications that can come with operating on patients with a sporting history or that are older. So while we partner with a range of suppliers for surgical implants to treat injuries such as elbow fractures, we also distribute equipment for postoperative care. Contact us for more information.

April, 2024

The Founders

“When we established the company, we had one overriding goal: to provide exceptional levels of service to our customers and always enjoy what we do!”
David Plane
Managing Directors