Currently Browsing: Technology

Orthopaedic Surgical Procedures

Orthopaedic patients have access to many options as they look to remedy frustrating persistent pains caused by injury or age. Arthroscopic techniques provide surgeons with minimally-invasive methods when operating on patients. In arthroscopic procedures, doctors make an incision and insert a small camera called an arthroscope, a specialized type of endoscope, through the body to aid in precision and accuracy. People needing knee or spinal disc reconstruction often opt for arthroscopic procedures. Sometimes patients require more invasive surgery depending on their condition. In more dramatic cases, patients undergo arthroplastic surgery.

During an arthroplasty, orthopaedic surgeons repair and realign flawed joints. One of the most common arthroplastic surgeries is total hip replacement surgery. Hip replacement surgery is considered an elective procedure as it’s not required for survival. The goal of a total hip replacement is to relieve pain and restore function. In 2005, DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, released the metal-on-metal ASR hip implant. During the five years that it was used in surgical procedures, millions of patients were the recipient of the DePuy ASR system.

Unfortunately, the hip implant proved to have a high failure rate, as one in eight recipients experienced complications within five years of their initial arthroplasty. Complications spanned from cup misalignment, femoral socket fracture, allergic reaction, and blood clots. A skilled surgeon has a large influence on the post-op success of an orthopaedic procedure; however, many of the complications stemming from DePuy ASR installations related to design defects, not surgical error. In 2010 after reviewing a post-market evaluation, DePuy Orthopaedics decided to issue a worldwide recall for the ASR Hip System.

People that have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson have a varying range of injury related to the hip implant. Some people have required numerous hip reconstructive surgeries after the implant dislodged. Other patients have experienced tissue damage and toxic blood poisoning due to metal shavings releasing into their system. A recent projection claims that Johnson & Johnson is considering paying $3 billion in 2013 to settle DePuy ASR lawsuits.

London Skyscraper Reflects Sunlight, Melts Cars

London pedestrians have reported that a newly-built skyscraper is melting cars and bicycles with light reflected from its windows. The 37-story building, nicknamed the “Walkie Talkie” for its undulating, phone-like design, is covered by flat mirrors that focus and reflect intense light and heat onto a short stretch of sidewalk.

Several residents have suffered property damage, including a Jaguar owner whose car had its mirrors and panels melted and its frame buckled, and several cyclists whose bike seats were ruined by the harsh rays.  Construction companies Land Securities and Canary Wharf Group have already compensated affected residents for any damage, and are collaborating with London city officials to cut down on the glare problem.

The blinding light emanates from the building for several hours a day, when the sun is in a particular position in the sky. Drivers and pedestrians have complained about poor visibility in the area, which has experienced temperatures of more than 175 degrees Fahrenheit.

Physicists from London’s Institute of Physics helped identify the source of the problem, and offered several solutions for the construction firms. The cheapest option would be to coat the windows in a non-reflective covering that would cut down on the amount of light bouncing off the building. Another, more expensive choice would entail adjusting the windows to a position that does not focus light in one spot.