Indian surgeon uses iPod touch for knee replacement operation [video]

Last week when Dr. Arun Mullaji, a joint replacement surgeon at Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital, entered the operation theater to perform a regular knee replacement surgery on 75-year-old Gulab Singhvi, he did not have his usual array of computer-driven machinery. Instead, he had an iPod touch and a camera assembly capable of shooting infrared beams. A successful surgery later, he became the first surgeon in Asia to conduct the tricky surgery using an iPod touch! Since then he has conducted two more surgeries using the same solution. Developed by Smith & Nephew, Dr Mullaji claims the solution will bring down the number of revision surgeries patients have to undergo due to misaligned prosthetic knee joint within two years, which happens in one out of every 20 surgeries. Hit the break below to read how the surgery was conducted and a video demo by Dr Mullaji, himself.

The app provides a step-by-step guide that shows where the instruments attached to the iPod touch have to be placed. The camera records the location of the instrument and sends it to a computer. Once the data is collated, it tells the surgeon how much bone needs to be removed to fit the prosthetic element.

A typical knee surgery can cost on an average up to Rs 2,50,000. “We are still determining the cost implication of this process,” said Dr Mullaji.  There are many benefits – the critical procedure of determining the hip center and positioning of the prosthetic has become more accurate. Unlike traditional knee replacement surgeries, this solution does not need any blood transfusion and patients are able to walk without any assistance within a few hours.

Check out Dr Mullaji demonstrating the app in the video below.

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