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Orthopaedic Biomechanics

Principal Investigator: Sudesh Sivarasu

About 90% of the orthopaedic implants used in South Africa are imported. Generic bone plates and screws, skeletal pins and wires, etc. are manufactured in South Africa, but contribute to less than 10% of the total health expenditure towards orthopaedic implants. Research focusing on orthopaedic biomechanical devices was initiated in the later part of 2013. After successful NRF funding, multiple research projects have been initiated. The orthopaedic biomechanics research aligns well with the MRC’s goal of promoting health and quality of life through innovation and technology development and transfer through, through local production of health technologies.


Design of a Novel Shoulder Implant Used in Total Shoulder Arthroplasty

The research aims at developing a novel shoulder implant used in total shoulder arthroplasty considering the dual curvature of the glenoid. The project is expected to produce South Africa’s first shoulder implant.


Development of a Novel Stress Radiography Device

A novel stress radiography device which can be used for obtaining stress radiographic images at various angles of flexion has been designed. This device was named ‘Laxmeter’ as it helps in measuring the laxity of knee ligaments. A provisional British patent was filed in 2013 for the Laxmeter. This low cost stress radiography device will be ideal in assessing joint problems in the aging South African population.


Design Modification of a Dynamic Hip Screw Used In Femoral Neck Fracture Fixation

Peri-trochanteric fractures of the hip are seen regularly by orthopedic surgeons and the standard treatment is surgical stabilization by open reduction and internal fixation. Numerous implants are available for the procedure, but the most commonly used at Groote Schuur Hospital is a dynamic hip screw (DHS). It is common practice to place an additional screw alongside the DHS screw to increase resistance to rotational forces. This can be technically difficult and lead to unacceptable positioning of the DHS. The research is aimed at redesigning the DHS.


Design of a Radial Head Prosthesis

Owing to the biomechanical complexity radial head, fracture healing and surgical intervention has always been problematic for surgeons. This research aims at developing a radial stem base which could envelope the fractured radial head and also to totally replace the radial head in event of surgical failure. The research will produce an adaptable radial stem and a modular radial head prosthesis.