Pinoys develop better, cheaper knee surgical technique

A locally developed knee surgical technique called the Axis Knee Replacement System is helping people with knee arthritis and similar ailments afford the otherwise expensive operation.

Dr. Ilustre I. Guloy, Jr.
Dr. Ilustre I. Guloy, Jr., chairman of Asian Hospital and Medical Center’s Department of Orthopedic Surgery and member of the team which developed the Axis Knee Replacement System. [by Gerardo Palad, S&T Media Service, DOST-STII via DOST]

The development of the surgical technique was funded by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council on Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD), and developed by a team of Filipino, American, Japanese, and Chinese specialists spearheaded by internationally renowned surgeon Dr. Ramon B. Gustilo from Negros Occidental.

According to Dr. Gustilo the Axis Knee Replacement System is made of materials similar to other knee systems available in other countries, but with unique features that provide better surgical outcome.

The system consists of three trays of instruments – more than 50 instruments all in all – in contrast to imported knee systems which consist of six to nine trays of instruments.

Among these instruments is the Mechanical Axis Finder, a portable, cost-efficient, and reusable device which locates this imaginary line called the mechanical axis. In many hospitals around the world, a computerized navigation technology is used to locate the mechanical axis. Only a few hospitals in the Philippines have this equipment. Computerized navigation systems also cost more than P20M and add at least P20,000 to the total cost of surgery.

Dr. Ramon Gustilo
Dr. Ramon Gustilo, chairman of OII who spearheaded the development of the Axis Knee Replacement System. [by Henry A. de Leon, S&T Media Service, DOST-STII via DOST]

Another feature of the Axis Knee System is a novel surgical technique called “Soft Tissue First Technique” that takes full advantage of the unique instruments. This new technique involves ligament balancing before cutting bone. The instruments and technique guide the surgeon to achieve optimal implant alignment for each patient.

The product is manufactured by Gustilo’s Orthopaedic International, Inc. (OII) with Engr. Sasing himself as its President. Based in Cabuyao, Laguna, OII is an ISO 13485-certified facility which has been designing, developing, and manufacturing orthopedic products including trauma, spine and joint replacement systems, for the past 20 years. ISO 13485 represents the requirements for a comprehensive quality management system for the design and manufacture of medical devices.

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The Good News Pilipinas Team is a group of Filipino journalists who advocate putting more good news stories about the Philippines and Filipinos on the media.