Another year has gone by, and we are given another opportunity to celebrate successes, learn from failures, and plan for the future. The past year has presented many important trends in orthopedic care that are worth looking out for as we enter 2022. Read on to learn some of the orthopedic trends that will likely soar to prominence this year.
Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs)
The pandemic has accelerated medical trends that prioritize the patient’s convenience. In light of this, most surgeries, including orthopedic procedures, are slowly being transferred from hospitals to ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs).
ASCs are outpatient facilities where surgeries that do not necessitate a hospital admission are performed. These facilities promote a comfortable and convenient environment for patients and a lower risk of exposure to COVID-19 than jam-packed hospitals. However, ASCs should not be mistaken for urgent care or ambulatory care centers; they are only for treating patients who have already consulted with a healthcare provider and have been recommended for surgery as the appropriate treatment.
These facilities may perform surgical procedures in several specialties or dedicate their services to one specialty. Patients who undergo total joint replacements for knees, hips, and shoulders are perfect for an ASC setting. With the ease of process that it offers patients, ASCs will most likely continue to be the preferred option for many orthopedic surgeries.
Minimally Invasive And Noninvasive Orthopedic Procedures
Whether orthopedic problems stem from medical conditions or injuries, all patients want is to return to their daily activities as soon as possible. When it comes to working, staying active, and participating in their favorite sports — no one wants to wait for months to recover after an orthopedic surgery before getting back to their daily routine.
Patients prefer minimally invasive or noninvasive procedures for minimal pain, reduced recovery time, and a better range of motion. Medical solutions such as Tactoset (an injectable bone graft substitute) and OVOMotion (an anatomic implant) are helpful for patients who want to push off joint replacements and other more complex, invasive procedures.
Robotics And Virtual Reality Tools
The technology for robotic-assisted surgery has come a long way since it was first used in orthopedics in the early 1990s. Traditional imaging techniques, such as MRIs and CT scans, are usually used to guide surgeries, but advances in technology have allowed orthopedic surgeons to use live, computer-assisted navigational tools for more efficient and accurate procedures.
Orthopedic surgeons and medical device professionals alike have recognized the benefits offered by virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and artificial intelligence (AI). These technologies will most likely be used to enhance training and knowledge, allowing surgeons to collaborate on and practice complex surgical procedures. Meanwhile, medical device professionals will use VR to understand their products better, assess them, and fix issues.
Digital Learning And Training
Many orthopedic professionals — or medical professionals in general — have opted to stay close to home due to the pandemic. Thus, the necessary tools, technologies, and resources that provide remote learning opportunities will be in great demand.
Recent advances in technology, such as virtual reality and robotics, could help train medical professionals, perhaps even better than with in-person training, making them more skilled and knowledgeable about industry advances. These can also help train orthopedic surgeons in using both simple and complex surgical equipment that can elevate surgical outcomes and patient satisfaction.
Laser Therapy For Pain Management
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) has recently included laser therapy in their treatment guidelines for knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. With this development, laser therapy is likely to be used more widely, so expect more clinics to offer this service as an option for pain management after orthopedic surgery. Since it’s noninvasive, the prospect of no side effects and a short recovery time make it highly appealing to patients.
Nonopioid Postsurgical Pain Management
Pain management continues to become increasingly effective, comfortable, and risk-free for patients. Perhaps the most used form of pain management is medication, particularly opioids. However, prolonged use of such medications might lead to complications.
Multimodal pain protocols can help avoid using opioids while still effectively managing patients’ pain after orthopedic surgery. Nonopioid pain management is already being used for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstructions, meniscus surgeries, and rotator cuff repairs. It can further be expanded to other areas of orthopedics.
Orthopedic Care In Springfield, MA
The key orthopedic trends for 2022 mainly revolve around the increasing use of technology and devices for surgical procedures and other forms of treatment. Such advancements will promote patient comfort, better surgical outcomes, and more skilled doctors proficient in using the newer technologies.
Our team of specialists at Advanced Orthopedics New England is committed to diagnosing, treating, and preventing a wide range of orthopedic conditions and injuries. Our board-certified, highly skilled orthopedic surgeons are up-to-date with all the latest trends and technological advancements in the medical field to deliver exceptional orthopedic care for patients.
To schedule an appointment or ask any questions, contact our friendly staff today at (860) 728-6740 or fill out our online appointment request form. We look forward to delivering the best care for your orthopedic needs!