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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 103-109

Early experience managing complex deformities using Autostrut™ robotic-controlled hexapod external fixators

Limb Lengthening and Complex Reconstruction Service, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY, USA

Correspondence Address:
Adam Daniel Geffner
519 East 72nd Street, New York, NY 10021
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jllr.jllr_23_22

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Context: Hexapod circular external fixators allow bone manipulation in all planes to correct complex deformities. However, the patient must perform the strut adjustments consistently and correctly, often multiple times daily for weeks or months, to achieve intended corrections. This presents a potential source of variability, error, and anxiety to the patient. A computer-programmed, robotic automated motorized strut adjustment technology (Maxframe Autostrut™ Multi-Axial Correction System, Orthospin Ltd., Yoqneam, Israel) has been developed which automatically adjusts the struts without patient or clinician involvement. Aims: The aims of this study were as follows: first, to determine whether the motors performed the programmed initial and residual schedules and, second, to identify technology-specific problems and their management. Settings and Design: This was a retrospective observational study of a consecutive series of the first 16 patients who had the motorized hexapod frame applied. Subjects and Methods: A chart review was performed to record demographic information, indications and goals for hexapod frame care, whether the care goals were achieved, and whether unexpected and/or adverse events occurred (such as technical difficulties and medical complications) and the management of those issues. Statistical Analysis Used: Not applicable. Results: All patients achieved the index and residual adjustments as programmed. Conclusions: The Autostrut™ system appears reliable and safe. It executes programmed index and residual adjustments as well as strut change scenarios as directed. The system recognizes unexpected mechanical or programming issues and ensures patient safety by halting progress and alerting the patient. Future versions of the technology may benefit from added features such as remote reprogramming or current strut position monitoring.

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