Orthopedics is a medical discipline that deals with the treatment of the musculosketal system. Surgical and non-surgical methods are used to treat injuries, infections, trauma, congenital disorders, tumors, cancers, and degenerative diseases. Originally, the practice was restricted to the treatment of abnormalities and deformities found in children. The field was expanded during war times to include treatment of injuries sustained by soldiers during battle. Many methods of treatment were developed during wars. Early splints, for example, were made of cloth soaked in horses blood. Once the blood dried, the cloth was stiffer and offered a little bit of extra support to the broken limb. It also caused massive infections.
World War I was the impetus for safer splints. World War II introduced rods as an alternative to traction for healing broken bones. External fixation of bones was developed during the Vietnam Conflict. Total joint replacement was pioneered in the 1960's and 70's with the replacement of hip and knee joints. Today, advanced technology facilitates the research and development of innovations to make surgery less intrusive, more precise, and shorter. A medical equipment seeks to make instruments, procedures, and medical devices that will result in better outcomes, more comfort, and less cost for hospitals, surgeons, and patients.
One medical device company has developed positioners for surgical procedures called bone foam. Bone foam provides correct angles for precise surgeries. The devices are latex free, vinyl coated, fire retardant, and water impermeable. They come in adult and children sizes in several angles, heights, and variations. They have no weight limit, and do not inhibit C-arm imagining in the operating room. They are designed to replace sterile towels that are used to position limbs and body parts for surgery. Bone foam provides a stable and consistent work surface for surgeons, and more comfort for the patients. They take less time to set up than towels, and cost less to use. The device needs a sterile drape of bag for each use, as they are not sterile. If the coating is damaged in any way, the device must be replaced.
Upper extremity devices include arm tunnels, wedges, distal radius, and blocks. Lower extremity options are leg tunnels, knee bolsters, ramps, and lateral wedges. Post-operative devices include a zero degree knee cradle, and a ERLE (edema reduction leg elevator) positioning device. Another positioning device, called the Gully is designed to support unstable fractures, and provide a fluid containment system. it consists of the device and disposable containment bags.