Orthopaedic Surgeon, Michael Morwood Joins Atlantic Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine Practice

Dr. Michael Morwood, Orthopaedic Surgeon, has joined Atlantic Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine practice effective March 1.

Dr. Morwood is entering the practice after his Adult Reconstruction fellowship at the Hofmann Arthritis Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah. His training included techniques in minimally invasive hip replacement, and muscle-sparing total knee replacement. Prior to Salt Lake City, he completed a fellowship in Orthopaedic Trauma at Tampa General Hospital in Florida, a nationally renowned Level 1 Trauma Center. He began his training in 2012 at Duke University, where he completed his internship and residency in Orthopaedic Surgery.

Dr. Morwood specializes in computer-navigated total knee replacement, muscle sparing total knee replacement and anterior total hip replacement. He is also an expert in orthopaedic trauma care, including the treatment of fractures, dislocations, and complex soft-tissue injuries.

“My mission is to improve the lives of my patients by restoring function through providing exceptional care using the highest quality evidence-based practices, innovative technologies, and cost-effective strategies,” said Dr. Morwood.

Dr. Morwood is currently accepting patients, and is excited to begin the next step in his career as a provider at Atlantic Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. Call 603-431-1121 for an appointment, and visit the website to learn more about Dr. Morwood at atlanticorthopaedics.org.

To learn more about Dr. Morwood click HERE.

Dr. Akhil Sastry to Speak at ‘Contemporary Topics in Orthopedics’ Conference

February 22, 2019 — Dr. Akhil Sastry, Board-Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon and provider at Atlantic Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, will speak at the 29th Annual Winter Conference for Contemporary Topics in Orthopedics. The conference takes place March 8th-10th at Sugarloaf Mountain Inn, Carrabassett Valley, ME.

Dr. Sastry was invited as a guest speaker to give his lecture, “Advances in Total Hip & Knee Replacement Surgery: The Robotic Revolution.”

Dr. Sastry has co-authored articles in publications and given numerous podium presentations throughout the United States on this topic. He was the first surgeon to perform with Stryker’s MAKO Robotic-Arm technology on the Seacoast and has collected research and data from numerous surgeries to show its positive outcomes.

Robotic-assisted surgery has become increasingly popular in recent years, allowing for more precise surgical techniques, extensive preoperative and patient-specific planning, and improved soft tissue protection.

Other physicians attending the conference will learn from the many lectures speaking about advances in technology, and be able to discuss surgical and medical treatments to improve patient outcomes.

Co-sponsored by St. Joseph Healthcare, Contemporary Topics in Orthopedics is a non-profit organization committed to providing learning opportunities and personal interaction with orthopedic colleagues and allied health professionals in mind, while also providing a forum for paper and research presentations by regional professionals.

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Dr. Akhil Sastry Study to be Presented at Orthopaedic Research Society Meeting

FEBRUARY 2, 2019 — Dr. Akhil Sastry, Board-Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon and provider at Atlantic Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, will have his surgical research data presented at the 2019 annual Orthopaedic Society Research meeting in Austin, Texas from February 2-5.

The meeting brings together hundreds of orthopaedic surgeons, nationally and internationally, with a mission to support and encourage research in surgery while providing a forum to share information for the well-being of patients.

Dr. Sastry’s research and data was collected from numerous surgeries performed with the MAKO robotic-arm assisted technology and shows its positive outcomes.

Robotic-assisted total joint arthroplasty has become increasingly popular in recent years, allowing for more precise surgical techniques, extensive preoperative and patient-specific planning, and improved soft tissue protection.

Dr. Sastry said it was an honor to be accepted to present his findings, with support from the Cleveland Clinic. His research includes data revealing robotic-assisted surgery patients had faster recovery times, and improved range of motion 90-day post-operation compared to those patients who were manually operated on, among other benefits.

Dr. Sastry was the first surgeon in the area to perform with the MAKO robotic-arm, leading the paradigm shift in how other orthopaedic surgeons think about surgery. He has since become a leading national expert, travelling and teaching other surgeons how to perform total knee, partial knee, and total hip surgery with the robotic-arm.

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Dr. Sastry to Chair Styker’s Robotic Surgery Conference

FEBRUARY 8, 2019 — Dr. Akhil Sastry, Board-Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon and provider at Atlantic Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, will Chair Stryker’s National MAKO Program on February 8 and 9. He will head the conference in Fort Lauderdale, FL as the leading surgeon there and teach MAKO courses in partial knee, total knee, and total hip surgery to other attending surgeons.

Stryker is one of the world’s leading medical technology companies, and their MAKO system is a surgeon-controlled robotic arm that enables accurate alignment and placement of implants.

This is the second program Stryker has asked Sastry to Chair. He began using the MAKO Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery System in 2016 and was the first surgeon in New Hampshire and Maine to perform a robotic assisted knee replacement. Sastry has been participating in their educational programs throughout the country teaching full knee, partial knee and total hip replacement on the robotic platform.

Sastry is also the premier robotic-assisted orthopaedic surgeon at Atlantic Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine and has said the robot allows for a level of precision that enables a quick recovery and fewer issues for the patient once fully rehabilitated.

Atlantic Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine is a leading practice on the Seacoast. They have offices in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and York, Maine and physicians have full medical staff privileges at both Portsmouth Regional Hospital and York Hospital.

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Atlantic Orthopaedics’ Dr. Tyler Welch Introduces State-of-the-Art Operating Table “The Guardian” at York Hospital

Dr.  Tyler Welch was accepted into the International Society for Hip Arthroscopy, and Atlantic Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine will be introducing the hip arthroscopy procedure at York Hospital with a state-of-the-art operating table called the Guardian.

The Pivot Guardian System is a device produced by one of the nation’s lead medical suppliers, Stryker.  The Guardian is specifically designed to mitigate complications, as it limits the amount of force applied to a patient’s hip during surgery.  The Guardian also enables the surgeon to obtain better visualization of the hip during surgery compared to other operating tables. 

The system’s boots enhance patient comfort and safety during surgery, and the surgeon can make precise range of motion adjustments during hip surgery with the Guardian.

The demand for hip arthroscopy is increasing every year, and surgeons in the US are projected to perform 271,000 hip arthroscopy procedures by the year 2021. This will be a compounded annual growth rate of 18.5%, compared to a 3.9% projected growth in shoulder arthroscopy and 1.6% projected growth in knee arthroscopy by the same year. 

Atlantic Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine is a leading practice on the Seacoast for orthopaedics and sports medicine. They have offices in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and York, Maine and physicians have full medical staff privileges at both Portsmouth Regional Hospital and York Hospital. 

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Dr. Sastry to Chair Styker’s Robotic Surgery Conference

SEPTEMBER 12, 2018—Dr. Akhil Sastry, Board-Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon and provider at Atlantic Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, has been asked to Chair Stryker’s National MAKO Program later this month. He will head the conference in Mahwah, NJ as the leading surgeon there and teach MAKO courses in partial knee, total knee, and total hip surgery to other attending surgeons.

Stryker is one of the world’s leading medical technology companies, and their MAKO system is a surgeon-controlled robotic arm that enables accurate alignment and placement of implants.

Sastry began using the MAKO Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery System in 2016 and was the first surgeon in New Hampshire and Maine to perform a robotic assisted knee replacement. Sastry has been participating in their educational programs throughout the country teaching the full knee replacement on the robotic platform. Though he has taught many courses for Stryker, this will be the first time he will chair a conference for them.

Sastry is also the premier robotic-assisted orthopaedic surgeon at Atlantic Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine and has said the robot allows for a level of precision that enables a quick recovery and fewer issues for the patient once fully rehabilitated.

Atlantic Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine is a leading practice on the Seacoast for orthopaedics and sports medicine. They have offices in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and York, Maine and physicians have full medical staff privileges at both Portsmouth Regional Hospital and York Hospital.

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Dr. Sastry Shares Expertise by Teaching Mako Total Knee Course for Other Surgeons

AUGUST 23, 2018—Dr. Akhil Sastry, Board-Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon and provider at Atlantic Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, recently taught a MAKO total knee course for Stryker in Mahwah, NJ.

Stryker is one of the world’s leading medical technology companies. Their MAKO system is a surgeon-controlled robotic arm that enables accurate alignment and placement of implants, and Sastry has been participating in their educational programs throughout the country teaching the full knee replacement on the robotic platform.

Sastry began using the MAKO Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery System in 2016 and was the first surgeon in New Hampshire and Maine to perform a robotic assisted knee replacement.

“Planning is a major component,” Sastry said. “The patient has a CT scan of the knee and the MAKO system will create a patient-specific 3-D model to pre-plan the knee replacement.”

Following the personalized pre-operative plan, the surgeon guides the robotic-arm during bone preparation to execute the pre-determined surgical plan and to position the implant. By selectively targeting only the part of the knee damaged by osteoarthritis, surgeons can resurface the diseased portion of the knee while helping to spare the healthy bone and ligaments surrounding the knee joint.

“Our patients get customized procedures, tailored specifically to them,” Sastry said. “Sensors are placed on the bones and signals are sent to the robot. If the surgeon strays just one millimeter from the specific measurements, the robot will stop.”

Sastry, who is the premier robotic-assisted orthopaedic surgeon of Atlantic Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, said the robot “allows us creative license to reposition the implant in any direction we want to achieve consistent range of motion.”

“The new knee feels more natural,” Sastry said. “This level of precision allows for quicker recovery and the likelihood of fewer issues for the patient once fully rehabilitated.”

Sastry is certified in both partial and total robotic-assisted knee replacements.

“By using this new technology, it results in a home run every time,” Sastry said.

Atlantic Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine Welcomes New Physician Assistant

April 10, 2018 – Portsmouth, NH – Atlantic Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine is pleased to announce the addition of a new Physician Assistant to their team of Board-Certified physicians, Ryan LaBelle, PA-C.

LaBelle will specialize in sports medicine and the non-surgical treatment and prevention of sports injuries at Atlantic Orthopaedics, including: broken bones, sprains, tendonitis, torn ligaments and tendons, overuse injuries, exercise modification and patient education. An NCCPA Board-Certified Physician and member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, LaBelle received training from Endicott College, where he earned a BS in Athletic Training, and the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. The NCCPA, or National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, is the only certifying organization for physician assistants in the United States.

“I believe the optimum patient care is when the information we have to offer as clinicians meets the autonomy of the patient,” LaBelle said. “I enjoy providing my education and knowledge as a professional, while being able to make collaborative decisions with patients in working towards positive results.”

In his spare time, LaBelle enjoys all sports and outdoor activities, especially golf, soccer and traveling.

York Hospital Using New Shoulder Replacement Technology

YORK, Maine – Dr. Mayo Noerdlinger looks up at a computer screen above his head during a shoulder replacement surgery one recent morning at York Hospital. A 3-D image of the patient’s shoulder system floats on the screen, an image that has been created preoperatively and allows him to decide in advance how he wants to proceed during surgery.

Soon, a GPS probe is placed in the patient’s bone, picking up the contours of her shoulder and matching that to the image taken before surgery. As Noerdlinger works to put the pins in the bone to hold the replacement piece in place, he is guided by the probe to place them precisely where they need to go, down to the millimeter. No chance they will be put in “cockeyed.”

Noerdlinger said the technology represents the next and important step in the evolution of shoulder operations. York Hospital is the first hospital in the Northeast to offer this kind of technologically-guided surgery, and has been offering them since June.

“I definitely think there’s value in having a doctor who has experience and who has done a lot of surgeries,” said Noerdlinger, an orthopedic surgeon with Atlantic Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Portsmouth. “But even a person who does a lot of them may have an off day. A lot of experienced surgeons look at this technology and say, ‘Yeah, yeah, you’re not going to get better than surgical experience.’ But I think that there’s a little hubris in that.”

Noerdlinger certainly qualifies as an experienced surgeon. He has been a practicing physician for 15 years, and in the Seacoast area is the go-to-guy for shoulders. He said shoulder surgery has seen advances over the years. Where once there were one-size-fits-all components, today components are size-specific for each patient. This “has indeed led to getting good to excellent results for 15 to 20 years. But can we do better?”

He said when he was shown the equipment created by the company ExactechGPS, which allows those pins to be placed accurately in the bone, he saw the next logical step in perfecting patient outcome. “I’ll be honest with you. I’m not sure that putting in the components perfectly will make a difference. But it makes common sense,” he said, that perfect placement of the pins could allow the replacement shoulder to last five to 10 years longer. “I think this is a game changer.”

Shoulder problems are typically caused when the cartilage that protects the shoulder bones has worn down due to years of motion and pressure. This causes arthritis, most typically osteoarthritis, but also rheumatoid arthritis. Patients also can be suffering from bursitis.

Not all people with shoulder issues are candidates for total replacement. Many issues can be repaired through arthroscopic surgery, Noerdlinger said. For instance, most people he sees have a rotator cuff tear that can be handled through a shoulder arthroscopy. Many patients choose cortisone or similar treatments that will stave off the pain for a period of time, rather than go through surgery at all.

He said he sees people in their 30s and 40s who have shoulder issues, but can deal with it through a variety of treatments including cortisone – and yoga. “Staying flexible is key,” he said. “But by the time they’re in their 50s and 60s, they’re tired of it. They say, ‘I don’t want to live with it and I’ve had all the cortisone injections I want to have.’”

The ExactechGPS system begins to work at his office, he said. Patients who decide on replacement will get a CAT scan, which the company turns into a 3-D image. With this image, Noerdlinger can come up with a game plan specifically geared for the individual patient. He said this is particularly helpful when preparing for a reverse shoulder replacement – when the ball at the end of the humerus bone is cut off and a metal ball is attached to the upper arm bone – essentially reversing the shoulder system. This is done when there is a large rotator cuff tear. Rather than the rotator cuff, the deltoid muscle will power the arm.

Armed with patient-specific information, he goes into surgery, where he places a probe into the shoulder blade that will allow him to place the ball component exactly in the right place and pin it into the bone precisely. And it’s all on the computer screen in front of him.

He said creating the hole for the probe, or tracker, “does add to surgical time, and that’s more anesthesia. But I’ve found the typical increase in surgical time is four minutes. That’s worth it to put those pins in perfect position. I started performing these at the end of June, and this is my ninth. There have been no negative outcomes. Everyone is doing well.”

Noerdlinger credits York Hospital President Jud Knox and the hospital Board of Trustees for listening to him when he approached them about acquiring the machine. “It’s an expense that the hospital took on themselves, and they do not pass on to the patient,” he said. “Our practice has a great relationship with the hospital, and they always said, if you want something let us know. This was the first time I went to the hospital, and they listened to me.”

Noerdlinger said he is waiting for Portsmouth Hospital, where he is Chief of Orthopedic Surgery, to get the same machine, but because the hospital is part of a larger, for-profit corporation, “there’s a lot of machinations. York Hospital made a decision in a week. This hospital said, ‘Why not do it?’”

This is not the first high-tech machine that the hospital has acquired. Since early 2016, the hospital has offered knee replacement surgery using a similar technological system that marries preoperative images with operation images. In both cases, York Hospital was the first in the region to offer these technologies.

Knox said much of the hospital’s decision-making comes down to the relationship with the doctor and the outcome for the patient.

“I don’t think being the first in the region is a risk for us if, one, we have a great relationship with the physician who’s promoting the technology and, two, if the evidence is available to show the efficacy of the technique,” he said. “And whatever we’re talking about, we try to figure out if it has value for patients.”

Unlike knee replacement surgery – estimated by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons at some 900,000 a year nationwide – only about 56,000 shoulder replacement surgeries are performed annually. “It’s a non-weight-bearing joint, unlike knees and hips,” said Noerdlinger. “The question is, how much money should be spent to make someone’s life better? That analysis is above my pay grade. I believe this will allow people to have a better long-term outcome. I can’t monetize that value. But I do feel passionate about this.”

“When you look at the disability caused by shoulder problems, it’s huge. When people can’t put on their shirt or tie their shoes, that’s an issue,” said Knox. “We won’t do as many shoulders as knees, but the numbers don’t mean those shoulder operations are not important. There is not a single number of frequency that we use to measure whether we do a procedure or not.”

According to Noerdlinger, York Hospital is among a rarified few that have embraced this technology. There are only five major medical centers that have this machine in operation or are in the process of setting it up, including Stanford University Medical Center, the Cleveland Clinic and the Hospital of Joint Disease at New York University. It is also widely used in Spain, France, England and Australia. Few small hospitals are using the technology.

“The significance is York Hospital’s relationships with patients and their physicians,” said Knox. “Hopefully that’s our strength and hopefully that’s what helps us be a success in the land of medical care giants. All hospitals are trying to do a good job. All hospitals are asking what is the right technology to do the best thing for our patients.”

“I do not see these technologies as economic lifesavers. I don’t think that works,” he said. “When all is said and done, it’s going to be whether people believe York Hospital is doing the right thing for their well-being.”

As of November 2017, Portsmouth Regional Hospital has obtained the GPS technology a allowing patients access to the same benefits in Portsmouth.

To view the article on Seacoast Online, visit http://www.fosters.com/news/20170828/york-hospital-using-new-shoulder-replacement-technology.  

On the Cutting Edge: Seacoast Surgeon Trains Others in Use of Latest Technology in Knee Replacement

PORTSMOUTH – Recent advancements in robotic technology will help patients achieve better results during total knee replacement, says a surgeon who is training his peers on new methods.

Dr. Akhil Sastry, of Atlantic Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Portsmouth, was one of the first surgeons to try the Mako Total Knee with Triathlon Knee System for Stryker, one of the largest developers and manufacturers of total knee replacement systems in the world. When the company began selling their newest technology for total knee replacements last year, Sastry started teaching surgeons in the United States and around the globe how to use it.

“Now, 5,000 robotic assisted total knees have been performed by over 200 surgeons worldwide. The projected number of surgeons will be almost 1,000 by the end of next year,” Sastry said.

Sastry trained the first surgeon to use the technology in Germany, and during the last week of September, he will be traveling to India to teach surgeons there how the newest Mako robot works.

The concept of robotics being used in knee surgery has been around since 2006, but patients still have only a 75- to 80-percent satisfaction rating post-operation, Sastry said. He believes the latest technology will improve that because surgeons can take into account a knee’s complete range of motion when planning and performing their procedures.

“We can fine-tune the positioning of the implants to not only take account for the static positioning of the knee, but the dynamic position of the knee,” Sastry said. “So, it creates a perfect plan each and every time.”

Sastry performs total knee replacements at Portsmouth Regional Hospital and York Hospital in Maine.

In Laconia, surgeon Arnold Miller says he is using the newest Mako robot for total knee replacements. Miller started using robotics five years ago for partial knee replacements and hip replacements.

“I have been impressed with the results, and patients seem very happy with their outcomes,” Miller said.

Miller works at the Laconia Clinic, and performs total knee replacements at Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia.

Dr. Jeremy Hogan also uses Mako robots during his surgeries at Lakes Region General Hospital. He works at Advanced Orthopaedic Specialists in Gilford.

Hogan was first exposed to Mako robots seven years ago. He says he has been using them at the hospital for five years.

Hogan says using robots has enhanced his accuracy.

“I can measure single degrees and millimeters, which is super human, and the robot assist ensures that I carry out my patient specific plan precisely,” Hogan said. “The goal is always a ’forgotten joint’ where the patient does not notice the presence of a replacement. A patient that had a traditional total knee by me a few years ago and recently underwent a robot assisted total knee feels that the rehab process is easier this time.”

In a video created for the Mako Total Knee with Triathlon Knee System, Stryker’s Chief Executive Officer Kevin Lobo says the new technology is a great example of modern collaboration and innovation.

“The health care landscape is consistently evolving. Stryker is committed to partnering with our customers to bring innovative solutions for our patients,” Lobo said.

Stryker’s global headquarters are located in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Experts project that total knee replacements in the United States are expected to increase 673 percent by 2030.

 

Article seen in the New Hampshire Union Leader.