Concordia Way 2018 Spring Issue - Page 5

Concordia Foundation News
HKI researchers are especially keen to better understand why
some implants fail. To that end, the Institute houses an Implant
Retrieval Lab—one of only two in Canada. Twenty per cent of the
surgeries at the HKI are “re-do operations”. Implants removed
by the surgeons end up in the Implant Retrieval Lab, a long bank
of rolling shelves stacked with neatly labeled sample boxes on
the Institute’s third floor.
“If a bridge collapses and you shovel the wreckage into a dump
and build another one, you haven't done your job,” says Dr. Turgeon, who also serves as the Institute’s director of arthroplasty
research. “In so many cases, when an implant fails, it goes in
the garbage. Nobody looks at it. We’re throwing away invaluable data that could lead us to build better devices or improve
surgical techniques.”
Surgeons often observe patterns of damage on implants, but
have only had their own experience and immediate colleagues
to compare those observations with—until now. “With our
retrieval lab, we can now pull many examples at once and glean
more meaningful data from that wider sample.” That data can
help Dr. Turgeon and his fellow researchers identify problems
with the device itself, or the surgical technique used to insert it
into a patient’s joint.
“We’ve published research on both. In some cases, that
information has fed back into the implant industry itself. One
of the companies has even changed the surgical technique it
recommends based on the data we collected here. That technique has now been improved planet-wide, all because of our
little group here.”
Striding ahead
Another way the Hip and Knee Institute is widening its impact
is through education. Each year, the Institute provides courses in
its surgical wet lab to residents, fellows and practicing surgeons Dr. Bohm uses the HKI’s electronic microscope to study an implant.
specializing in arthroplasty.
“The courses allow us to translate the information we’ve been
collecting in our research into techniques we can teach,” says
Dr. Turgeon. “We close the loop by teaching our findings to the
medical community and helping them improve patient care.
Many of the residents and fellows end up practicing all over
Canada, so it’s not just Manitoba that benefits.”
The Hip and Knee Research Institute has much to look forward to in the years ahead, including an expansion of its clinical
and engineering research. “We’re anticipating a banner year in
the number of clinical trials we’re participating in. And there
is some intellectual property we’d like to develop into products
that could help patients around the world.”
The Knee Club
Laura Reimer
t was a sunny day in 2003. My young daughter
and I were “training” for ringette camp, cycling
hard through the streets of our neighbourhood,
when my tire slipped in a puddle. I crashed hard. I
broke my helmet, right hand, and arm—but my left
knee took most of the impact. Nine months later my
broken hand was repaired, and after 12 more months,
my knee had a laparoscopic scrape. (The helmet never
recovered.) But the knee injury had taken its toll; I
gained many pounds and developed plantar fasciitis,
bulging discs in my back, and osteoarthritis in the
knee. Ten years later, the pain was all-consuming,
debilitating, and distracting. Like most knee replacement candidates, my moments were consumed by
pain endurance.
Then hope arrived at the Concordia Hip and Knee
Institute. In May 2017, I received a new knee and met
others like me. We struggled through early rehab,
went for coffee together in the basement of the hospital, and inspired one another. In our recovery, we need
more than good medical care and daily retraining of
the muscles. We need to talk with those who understand. It is a shockingly long, slow, and difficult rehab.
Depression hits deep and discouragement comes and
goes. The mental recovery requires as much daily
discipline as the physical. In the knee replacement
community I found remarkable people—people of
tenacity and discipline who inspire me to keep going!
The Knee Club is a community for those who are
on that journey to share their hopes and dreams, fears
and worries. We meet once a month and learn a little
about health and rehab, but mostly we talk together as
people who dream of a tomorrow that doesn’t include
walkers, sensible shoes, fear, or depression. At The
Knee Club, we are inspired to continue our hard work,
striding forward with mental and physical discipline
and dignity, into renewal.
For more information, check out TheKneeClub.
com or call Laura at 204.791.4816.
Laura is a former university professor, organizational renewal consultant, and bareboat charter sailing
skipper (a certification she received 8 months after her
Concordia TKR).
Engineers and researchers at Concordia’s Hip and Knee Institute are changing joint replacement technology and techniques around
the world.
The Hip and Knee Institute: bright, warm, and state-of-the-art.
Spring 2018
Centre News 5


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