Orthopaedic surgeons bring state of the art surgical approaches to Garrett Regional Medical Center

Dr. Dona Alvarez and Dr. Todd Feathers, orthopaedic surgeons at Garrett Regional Medical Center (GRMC) and owners of Garrett County Orthopaedics, recently brought the Tornier Wright Medical Group RV to Oakland to allow the operating room surgical team at GRMC to explore advanced approaches to surgery as well as newly developed medical devices.

Tornier Wright Medical has six fully equipped RVs used to train physicians and practitioners throughout the country. Often, surgeons are too busy to travel to the company’s home office to train using the company’s medical devices and software. Each RV comes equipped with two surgical stations, a mini C-arm, power instruments, and general surgical instruments. The RV expands to 12 feet by 40 feet to allow for unabridged training on the company’s portfolio of biologic products.

The RV serving the mid-Atlantic area pulled into the GRMC parking lot on a Wednesday afternoon. Dr. Feathers and Dr. Alvarez, along with the hospital’s operating room staff, received hands-on experience with total shoulder arthroplasty, anatomic and reverse, using Tornier Wright’s devices as well as its Blueprint software program, which enables surgeons to use 3D imagery in planning surgical procedures. The surgeons wanted to test-drive the company’s devices and new Blueprint software as part of their ongoing effort to ensure the area’s orthopaedic patients experience the best results possible.

“We look at new approaches to surgery as well as medical devices new to the market on a regular basis,” noted Dr. Feathers. “It’s important that our patients receive the same quality care here that they would in larger medical facility. We don’t want to take time away from our patients, so finding time to travel can be a challenge. Bringing the training opportunity to Garrett County, which enabled the hospital’s surgical team to participate as well as Dr. Alvarez and myself, was something that we really wanted to do. It’s a win for our surgical team and our patients.”

Dr. Alvarez agrees.

“Tornier Wright Medical Group is known for its innovation,” said Dr. Alvarez. “Being able to work with their Blueprint software, which allows us to take a patient’s CT scan, or xray, and create a 3D virtual image, in which we can literally see the patient’s injury on a computer as we will see it in the operating room, is impressive. The Blueprint software allows us to prepare for surgery in a much more robust way. This will be especially useful in complicated cases.”

The two-hour training session included practice on “saw bones,” or fake bones, as well as addressing a real case on a cadaver.

“We’re very pleased Dr. Alvarez and Dr. Feathers brought this training to Garrett County,” says Kendra Thayer, Chief Operating Officer at Garrett Regional Medical Center. “We want our operating room staff to be apprised of the latest developments in surgical approaches and devices. Our patients come first, so the care we provide needs to be the best possible.”