Surgeon turns inventor to improve recovery from rotator cuff injury

A South Wales surgeon has turned inventor with the help of a leading medical manufacturer and his surgical device is set to be used in operating theatres across the UK and the world in repairing massive tears of the shoulder’s rotator cuff previously regarded as irreparable.

Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Mr Atif Nada practices at Neville Hall Hospital in Abergavenny and in 2008 he responded to a call by manufacturer Xiros for surgeons to share ideas that could improve surgical procedures and patient recovery.

Mr Nada’s ideas for an improved shoulder surgery device were patented jointly, and he is set to share in any profits from the sales of the new Rota-Lok™ device that is being marketed to hospitals and doctors all over the world.

“Many surgeons have ideas that could improve the materials and equipment we use every day in theatre, but when I was aware of a programme run by Xiros to research and develop the inventions and take them through patenting and testing I was keen to see if my ideas would translate to a new product,” said Mr Nada.

Two years of tests, development and successful trials of the new surgical device and procedure have led to consistent relief from pain and improved shoulder movement for the majority of patients.

The trials were led by Mr Nada at Neville Hall Hospital, Abergavenny, using the Rota-Lok device, developed and manufactured at Xiros headquarters in Leeds, where the firm already manufactures a range of similar surgical products sold under the Neoligaments brand, including knee ligament devices that have been used to treat over 100,000 patients worldwide.

Dr David Beevers, who leads the Xiros programme to develop surgeon’s products said: “We appealed for surgeons’ ideas in 2008, and although Mr Nada’s Rota-Lok is the first product to be launched commercially, we have registered several patents and are in the process of developing at least ten other new products that have been invented by surgeons and medical professionals.”

“Our devices are used by medical professionals every day and who better to devise new procedures and product enhancements? We are experts at development, intellectual property protection and manufacture, so together with the person who had the idea we can handle the whole process with little time involvement from the surgeons who tend to be hugely busy people,” he added.

The shoulder device comprises a wide polyester ligament that bridges the gap between the torn rotator cuff and the humeral head. Following surgical augmentation of a series of massive tears during the trials, 90% of patients remained free from pain with improvement of function and range of movement.

Xiros anticipates the launch of a further five similarly developed products in the coming year, all aimed at reducing surgical patient discomfort and improving recovery in a shorter time.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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