How C-Arms Benefit Team Physicians & Sports Organizations
How a C-Arm Can Help an Athletic Team
C-arms are known for their real-time imaging that allows physicians to see intricate details of a patient’s anatomy. But not just the typical doctor that you go see for a checkup, but sports medicine professionals as well.
These fluoroscopy machines are used during orthopedic, complicated surgical and pain management (anesthesia) procedures, but also to get detailed and accurate information about an athlete that may have just been injured in a game, or why a player’s ankle might be bothering them over time.
C-arms supply the knowledge a team physician can use to help players directly, or prepare medical services with accurate information if they need to be involved.
Better Imaging & Intel
C-arms are used in the field to visualize injuries and aid in procedures, reducing procedure time. They can also pinpoint the location of an injury that would be difficult or impossible to see using traditional imaging methods such as MRI or CT scans.
This power alone makes them a worthwhile purchase for any professional sports organization. Using a mini c-arm might be especially helpful, as their lightweight builds and maneuverability make them easy to transition and use.
Image quality is based on a mix of several components, including image resolution, system power, field of view and monitor display. When they all work together your c-arm can output high-quality images.
Unlike radiography or fixed fluoroscopy machines, which use x-ray to image the body, surgical c-arms gather real-time moving images for visualization of the body’s anatomy and flow of fluids like blood and contrast agent. This allows for better process planning, real-time intraoperative guidance and reduced surgical operation times.
C-arms are available in both fixed and mobile systems. A fixed system can be mounted on a table designed for c-arm positioning. A portable c-arm is more flexible and can be positioned anywhere, allowing for a wide range of procedures.
Mobile c-arms can be driven with a motorized cart and can maneuver in all directions for optimal positioning.
Some systems such as Philips Veradius Unity have a built-in navigational aid called ClearGuide that correlates the direction of movement on the live fluoroscopy image with physical markers on the detector, allowing the surgeon and team to communicate consistently.
Faster Response To Injuries Possible
The medical imaging technology in a C-arm allows doctors to see injuries that might not be visible with traditional X-rays. This leads to quicker diagnoses, which in turn allows for more accurate treatment plans.
For sports teams that travel to games and practices, this can mean less time between imaging sessions, allowing athletes to return to the game more quickly.
C-arm X-rays are especially popular with orthopedic surgeons, and Turner Imaging System’s SMART-C mini C-arm has become a staple in sports medicine clinics for imaging of shoulder, elbow, hand, weight-bearing knee, and weight-bearing foot/ankle injuries.
But a C-arm can be used in a wide range of other medical specialties including pain management, gastroenterology, vascular surgery, cardiac surgery, and neurology.
For instance, Philips’ image guided therapy mobile C-arm system Zenition incorporates advanced 3-D imaging capabilities to improve procedure planning and intraoperative guidance, as well as reduce surgical operation times for endovascular treatments.
With features like automatic calibration, advanced active cooling, and an intuitive graphical interface, it provides technologists with a simplified user experience to help them increase productivity.
Not only that, these advanced insights reduce patient recovery time, and better inform clinicians providing or recommending treatment.
Informed Hand Offs to Emergency Services
Handoffs are vital to great professions like air traffic controllers, NASA space control and emergency physicians (EP’s). But they also need to be efficient as time is limited.
The medical coordinator or team physician of sport’s outfit (be that league or team) using a c-arm to prepare emergency medical services with detailed info on the affliction or injury is a fantastic example of being able to improve efficiency.
A standardized structured handoff is key to a successful patient, or in this case, player/athlete transition and can minimize errors due to distractions, unclear or differing treatment perspectives or uninformed assumptions.