Published: Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Scottish first for revolutionary surgery




The Golden Jubilee National Hospital recently became the first hospital in Scotland to use a revolutionary new technology on a patient suffering from a severe rib fracture.


MatrixRib is a Plate Osteosynthesis developed by DePuy Synthes CMF, and is a ground breaking new piece of surgical equipment that allows surgery to be performed on patients suffering from complex or severe rib fractures with significantly increased accuracy, stability and reduced trauma.


Discussing the technology, Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon for the Golden Jubilee, Mr Alan Kirk, commented: “This is a fantastic development for thoracic in the Golden Jubilee and for the NHS in Scotland.


“MatrixRib actually uses technology which was originally designed for neurosurgery and has been modified to allow us to implant locking plates and screws to perform rib stabilizations and fixations with significantly increased accuracy and precision. Not only does this have the potential to improve patient outcomes, but it allows us to carry out complex procedures which are simply not available with traditional methods.”


While some rib fractures are relatively straightforward and can be treated using pain management and bracing, in some instances they can lead to complications, including prolonged pain and hospitalisations for the individual, respiratory difficulties, disability and even mortality. Surgical stabilisation (osteosynthesis) of severe rib fractures can reduce the likelihood of these complications, as well as minimise trauma to the chest wall.


The Golden Jubilee recently performed its first stabilisation using this advanced technology on a patient who had suffered a severe fracture over two years ago.


Mr Kirk said: “The patient was in extreme discomfort as a result of the fracture and it was proving increasingly difficult to manage through pain relief. Traditional re-alignment had previously been attempted, but due to the severity of the fracture, had been unable to fully repair the damage which had been caused.


“Using this new technology however, we were able to re-align the individual’s ribs to a far greater degree and repair a large amount of the damage. While we will need to monitor their condition over an extended period of time, following surgery they were experiencing dramatically reduced pain and discomfort, with no signs of complications as a result of the surgery.


“So far the results have been extremely positive, and going forward we hope to be able to offer this to more patients, continuing to expand our services and meet the demand of NHSScotland, leading the way in quality, research and innovation.”

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