Arthrosurface Inc., a developer of less-invasive joint restoration systems, performed its first hammertoe correction surgeries in February using the new, sterile and completely disposable ToeMATE system. It consists of two intramedullary bone screws, a morse-taper interlock pin and hand driven preparation tools. The product has FDA Clearance for use in small joints, thereby making it a versatile system for fusions and trauma reconstruction. This complete system provides cost saving opportunities and eliminates the need for power tools, thereby reducing the potential for technical errors associated with using heavy instrumentation in small joints. It also allows the surgery to be performed in outpatient surgery centers.
A hammertoe is essentially a contracted toe that develops from having the toes bent abnormally for extended periods of time. This particular foot deformity occurs in the proximal interphalangeal joint (PIP) of the second, third, fourth and/or fifth toe. The permanent bend resembles the shape of a hammer, hence the name. It is often found in conjunction with bunions and in many cases, it affects multiple toes at once. The causes of hammertoe can range from wearing poorly fitting shoes to damage associated with conditions such as arthritis, injury and muscle imbalance.
Dr. Brent Brotzman of Austin, Texas, worked closely with the Arthrosurface team to develop the ToeMATE system. Dr. Brotzman stated, “In my practice I perform knee, foot and ankle procedures and I have always been amazed at how strong the fixation has been whenever I use a HemiCAP device. Whether performing a toe resurfacing or a patello-femoral joint reconstruction, the implants remain stable. The idea for the ToeMATE system, using two screws and a post to mate the toes together, seemed very obvious once we began working on the project. Ironically, our first case required us to fix four hammertoes at once, including the small fifth toe. The fixation, targeting device and ‘always new’ instrumentation made it easy to perform the hammertoe correction.”
The ToeMATE system was officially launched at the ACFAS conference, an industry meeting for foot and ankle surgery, in Orlando last month. Lester Fehr, VP of Global Marketing commented, “We already knew that surgeons valued the proven fixation that our morse-taper screw provided for HemiCAP implants, so when we showed them the same concept for a hammertoe system they immediately embraced the idea. While several hammertoe products have been introduced over the last few years, we continued to hear about issues from surgeons concerning fixation, stability and revisability. All of those matters have been addressed with the Arthrosurface ToeMATE system. What could be easier than putting in and backing out a screw? Hammertoe correction may be our first market for this product but there are plenty of indications for a simple and stable technology that keeps bones together so they can heal.”
Within the first quarter of 2014, Arthrosurface has launched three new extremity products with at least an equal number on target to launch in the second half of this year.