EU Project Completion: SafeACL – ACL Surgery Assistant

Polytech S.A. is excited to announce the completion of its latest project, “SafeACL – Decision Support Software for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Based on Individualized Musculoskeletal Computer Models.” This innovative project was developed in partnership with the Department of Medical Science of Health Sciences at the University of Thessaly, the Institute of Research and Technology of Thessaly (ΙΕΤΕΘ/ΕΚΕΤΑ), and the Information and Virtual Reality Visualization Team (VVR) at the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Technology, University of Patras (UPAT). The research proposal for SafeACL was approved under the ESPA 2014-2020 “Research-Create-Innovate” business program.

SafeACL is a state-of-the-art decision support system that integrates neuromusculoskeletal computer models with imaging data (MRI, X-ray, ultrasound) and motion analysis data (kinematics, kinetics). This integration enables the simulation of ACL surgeries, enhancing the customization, objectivity, and overall effectiveness of treatments for ACL reconstruction.

An Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tear is a severe injury commonly affecting athletes, especially those involved in activities requiring rapid deceleration. An ACL-deficient knee is highly prone to instability, further injuries, and long-term osteoarthritis. In the United States alone, between 100,000 and 250,000 ACL injuries occur annually. ACL reconstruction is a frequent procedure aimed at restoring knee stability and allowing patients to return to an active lifestyle. Despite advancements over the past two decades, the rehabilitation process remains lengthy, and there is a significant risk of re-tearing, which poses further challenges and risks to long-term knee health.

Recent studies indicate a 3.0% failure rate for primary ACL reconstructions within two years and a 3.6% failure rate in the short term. Revision ACL reconstructions are even more challenging, with a 13.7% overall failure rate. Technical errors such as tunnel malposition, inadequate fixation, and failure to address concurrent issues contribute to 53-79% of primary ACL graft failures. These statistics highlight the need for effective treatment strategies to minimize postoperative complications and improve outcomes.

Currently, ACL reconstruction plans are often selected from standardized options rather than tailored to the individual patient’s characteristics. This selection process typically relies on subjective clinical experience rather than objective predictions of post-treatment function, resulting in suboptimal restoration of knee joint function.

SafeACL addresses a significant gap in the global market for advanced decision support systems in ACL surgery. There is substantial interest from health systems and rehabilitation centers for such innovative solutions. SafeACL aims to penetrate this emerging market by providing a unique, supportive medical decision-making system for ACL surgical repair. This project not only establishes a distinct identity for SafeACL in the health sector but also promises to enhance surgical outcomes and patient care.

The SafeACL project is a collaborative effort among the following esteemed organizations:

  • Department of Medical Science of Health Sciences, University of Thessaly
  • Institute of Research and Technology of Thessaly (ΙΕΤΕΘ/ΕΚΕΤΑ)
  • Information and Virtual Reality Visualization Team (VVR), Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Technology, University of Patras (UPAT)
  • Polytech S.A.

Polytech S.A. and its partners are proud to introduce SafeACL, a pioneering decision support system that promises to revolutionize ACL reconstruction surgery by improving customization, reducing complications, and ultimately enhancing patient outcomes.

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