Innovations in Review 2023

Orthopedics and Spine

In 2023, our orthopedists and orthopedic surgeons used innovative treatment approaches for complex musculoskeletal diseases and disorders. Columbia’s experts focused on helping develop new medical devices and tackling the most difficult orthopedic complications. Our orthopedic specialists are renowned for their innovation, outstanding patient care, and cutting-edge surgical and nonsurgical treatments that restore function and improve quality of life after injury or disease.

Orthopedics and Spine
Orthopedics and Spine

Breakthrough Shoulder Prosthesis Promises Improved Outcomes

Shoulder arthroplasty is ordinarily done either as anatomic shoulder replacement or reverse total shoulder replacement, distinctly different approaches that can limit the placement of prostheses if a revision surgery is later required. Dr. William N. Levine, Chair of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia, was a member of a team of surgeons that helped develop a transformational shoulder prosthesis that can be used for either surgical approach and allows conversion of a failed anatomic replacement. The groundbreaking prosthesis is expected to markedly improve patient outcomes.

Left: Pre-operative image of shoulder before total shoulder arthroplasty. Right: Post-operative image showing the new prosthesis in place.

Improving Coronal Alignment Post Spinal Deformity Surgery

Orthopedic spine surgeons from Och Spine at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia developed a novel intraoperative method to improve coronal alignment after surgery for complex spinal deformities. This new approach offers two distinct advantages: it provides an intraoperative target and it accounts for lower extremity factors (leg length discrepancy and pelvic obliquity) using EOS imaging. Columbia physicians conducted a recent study of the technique, which was the first study to quantify lower-extremity compensation in the coronal plane for adult spinal-deformity surgery. The team is planning follow-up research to further study the association between this method and patient-reported outcomes, complications, and reoperations.

Preop and postop EOS films of patient who underwent adult spinal deformity surgery. Preop films show coronal malalignment with lower extremity compensation. Postop films demonstrate well-aligned spine in sagittal and coronal planes with resolution of lower extremity compensation

Determining the Best Cementation Techniques for Hip Replacements

The use of cemented versus cementless joint prostheses in total hip replacement has undergone exhaustive investigations over the past several decades, with researchers seeking to establish guidelines for one approach having greater patient outcomes over the other. Columbia physicians, including Drs. H. John Cooper, Roshan P. Shah, and Mouhanad El-Othmani, published a comprehensive research report on the topic wherein they characterized evidence-based modern practice in femoral stem cementation in primary hip arthroplasty. The review showed that while the cementing process adds technical complexity to total hip arthroplasty, growing evidence supports its use in certain cohorts, and surgeons should have a thorough understanding of modern cementation techniques.

Image of a cemented femoral stem in total hip arthroplasty

Novel Approaches to Periprosthetic Joint Infections

One of the hardest and potentially most devastating complications to treat in orthopedic surgery is arthroplasty-associated infection, or periprosthetic joint infection (PJI). Recognizing the need for improved treatment and care for PJI, NewYork‑Presbyterian/ Columbia orthopedic surgeons are working on revolutionary approaches to successfully treat these complex issues, while also developing a model to assess patient risk of developing infections after total ankle arthroplasty.

Lateral view of the ankle, which has a higher rate of PJI post-arthroplasty at 3-5%.

New Study May Help Improve Knee Replacement Outcomes

Despite advancements in knee arthroplasty, there remains close to a 15 to 20 percent dissatisfaction rate. Columbia orthopedic surgeons had previously conducted extensive research around femoral component rotation, however tibial component rotation remains a subject of debate in terms of the ideal strategy to set rotation. Drs. Jeffrey Geller, H. John Cooper, and Roshan P. Shah conducted the first large-scale study to compare all the described methods of determining tibial rotation to identify which would be most reproducible for surgeons to use intraoperatively. Incorporating the study’s findings into surgical technique has the potential to improve patient outcomes.

Non-tubercle-based, intra-articular reference axes for tibial rotation