Orthopaedic Institute opens at UCSF

October 2, 2009 7:22:14 PM PDT
UC San Francisco opened its Orthopaedic Institute. It is a world class medical facility in Mission Bay packed with the medical technology that'll change lives.

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The Orthopaedic Institute is both an outpatient clinic and research hub for state of the art medical inventions.

Patients with artificial legs, fractures and joint replacements can train on an anti-gravity treadmill developed by NASA, while it controls how much weight they're putting down on the device.

"We can actually pull up and with this differential pressure device, we can load them by percentages of their body weight," said Dr. Aenor Sawyer from USCF Orthopaedic Institute. "We're going to be able to use it to train people who haven't even been able to walk because of an amputation."

This program uses a 10-camera video motion detection system to study movement.

Sensors are attached to a gymnast as she does a handstand, her every move is traced and analyzed in 3D.

"We can look at how the knee is articulating, how the different movement patterns are working. How that might related to some type of injuries. So the main purpose of using that machine is to prevent injuries and enhance performance," said UCSF athletic trainer Joe Smith.

By the way, it can also improve a golfer's backswing and follow through. This machine receives precise data on your cardio-respiratory and pulmonary systems while you exercise on a treadmill.

"We can get exact minute to minute breath analysis," said Smith. "Second by second in fact, heart analysis."

One of the most revolutionary inventions here is the virtual reality simulator for arthroscopic knee surgeries.

Dr. Gil Cannon demonstrated it for us.

"It allows residents and young surgeons to train on a simulator similar to what a pilot would do in an airplane," he said.

It's so real, you can even feel the pressure of the ligaments as you tug on them with your instruments.

"In the future, most surgeons will be taught through simulator training," said Dr. Gil.

The Orthopaedic Institute also designs and builds braces and artificial limbs for its patients.

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