Patients in Hampton Roads with knee, foot and ankle injuries can now access improved diagnostic information leading to better outcomes thanks to a new piece of advanced medical technology that’s just arrived here – a weight-bearing computerized tomography (CT) scanner. Moreover, those benefits will be much more convenient for local patients because travel is no longer required to Duke University in Durham, NC, or Washington, DC to get this type of CT scan.
CT technology combines a series of X-ray images taken from different angles around the body to create cross-sectional images of soft tissues, bones, and blood vessels. Computers process the images of the scanned area which allows doctors to see inside the body without operating. The biggest difference is that traditional CT scanners require the body to be lying flat; this new device creates the CT image while the person is standing.
In June, Atlantic Orthopaedic Specialists (AOS) took delivery on the area’s first and only weight-bearing device and completed staff training on the new scanner. The CurveBeam LineUP CBCT Multi-extremity Scanner will be in full use by the end of July. (NOTE: CurveBeam is the manufacturer; LineUP CBCT Multi-extremity scanner is the model.)
“In terms of significance for knee, foot and ankle cases, this scanner is a game-changer,” said Blake Moore, MD, orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeon at AOS. “By providing a three dimensional image of an injured joint while the patient is standing, we’ll be able to more accurately determine what surgical procedures are needed before surgery for complex injuries or deformities. It also shows a joint’s response to everyday weight bearing demands. “
An additional benefit: less exposure to CT radiation. According to Moore, the weight bearing CT scanner exposes the patient to substantially lower doses of radiation because the design shields against radiographic scatter.“The only area exposed to radiation is the one being examined,” said Moore. “And, since the scanner is here in the office, it will be more convenient for our patients rather than going to a hospital for the scan.”
Dr. Moore believes the scanner is useful both before and after surgeries, such as total ankle replacements. “We can use weight bearing CT scans to create ankle replacement templates that are anatomically perfect,” he said. “Post operatively we will use the scanner to assess the effectiveness of a surgical procedure.”
The scanner can assist even simpler procedures, such as bunion corrections, Moore stated. It also has applications for knee and hand injuries and will be used by AOS Specialists in joint replacement as well as hand and upper-extremity care.
To learn more about this new technology or to see photos of the equipment in use, visit Atlantic Orthopaedic Specialists website, www.atlanticortho.com. AOS physicians and radiologic technicians recently completed training to use the new scanner, which will be in use in July 2019. https://www.curvebeam.com/
Meet Atlantic Orthopaedic Specialists’ newest Surgeon Luke H. Balsamo
|Luke H. Balsamo, MD|
Until recently most patients in Eastern Virginia and North Carolina have had to travel out of the area to be treated for tumors of bone and soft tissues. That has changed since Luke H. Balsamo, MD, an Orthopaedic Oncologist, joined Atlantic Orthopaedic Specialists.
The practice of orthopaedic oncology deals with benign, malignant and metastatic cancer of bone and soft tissue. Like other cancers, patients with bone and soft tissue tumors need a team of specialists to manage their disease. Local access to orthopaedic oncologic care will decrease wait time between discovery, diagnosis and treatment of orthopaedic cancers. This in turn, this could lead to fewer unnecessary tests, and lower risk of complications from diagnostic procedures. Local access will also reduce the time and expenses patients incur travelling to receive care.
Dr. Balsamo joins Atlantic Orthopaedic Specialists after a 21-year naval career. He was most recently stationed at Portsmouth Naval Hospital. During his career he has served as both Division Chief and Residency Program Director. He has been involved in local, state, and national orthopaedic societies and has published multiple articles in his field. Locally, he will be working closely with medical and radiation oncologists and other medical specialty groups.
Dr. Balsamo will be seeing patients in Norfolk at 6160 Kempsville Circle in Norfolk and at 160 Kingsley Lane in Norfolk. To make an appointment with Dr. Balsamo, please call for appointments at AOS, (757) 321-3360. To learn more about Dr. Balsamo, go to here.