NEWS

Concordia Hip & Knee Institute
receives $10 million

Funding will support development of new technology

Kurt Penner, Innovation, Energy and Mines Minister Dave Chomiak, Dr. Jan Brandt and Martin Petrak
From left: Kurt Penner, Innovation, Energy and Mines Minister Dave Chomiak, Dr. Jan Brandt and Martin Petrak look at replacement knees.

BY SUSIE STRACHAN
Winnipeg Health Region
Published Thursday March 17, 2011

Winnipeg’s Concordia Hip and Knee Institute today took another step towards its goal of becoming a leader in the development of joint replacement technology.

The federal and provincial governments announced they will contribute $2.5 million each to the Concordia Hip and Knee Institute’s Strategic Initiative. The Concordia Foundation is matching the funds with $5 million of its own, bringing the total investment in the initiative to $10 million.

The financial boost will help make life better for those needing hip and knee replacements. It will also make it easier to attract top clinicians and researchers to the Winnipeg Health Region’s orthopedic surgery program and help establish the city as a leader in the development of new joint replacement technology.

Half of the $5 million in funding comes from the Western Economic Diversification Canada fund. It will be used at the new Musculoskeletal Innovation and Product Development Centre for the purchase of testing equipment to help commercialize the resulting joint replacement technology. The MIPDC was established in 2010 to commercialize joint replacement technology through research and development.

“The wear-testing equipment used here to test hip and knee replacement joints is the only one in Canada,” said Joy Smith, Member of Parliament for Kildonan – St. Paul, on behalf of the federal government. “Not only will this research help patients feel better, it will allow Manitoba to take on a major role in the $43 billion worldwide orthopedics industry.”

The second $2.5 million comes from Manitoba Innovation, Energy and Mines, and will be spent on operations and equipment for the Concordia Hip and Knee Institute’s Strategic Initiative.

“This is visionary work,” said the Honourable Dave Chomiak, Minister of Manitoba Innovation Energy and Mines. “The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, the Concordia Foundation, medical people and engineers from the University of Manitoba, staff from the Pan Am Clinic – they’re all working together on bio-engineering innovations, which, in the end, will improve our quality of health care.”

The funding announcement was welcomed by Arlene Wilgosh, President & CEO of the Winnipeg Health Region. “This support will help strengthen the Region’s commitment to being an innovative organization. The work being done here at Concordia will benefit patients and allow us to develop our research and development capacity. It’s really something we can all be proud of.”

Martin Petrak, President of the MIPDC and Director of Research Operations at the Concordia Hip and Knee Institute, showed off some of the machinery used in research in a simulation room at the Hip and Knee Institute. Orthopedic bio-medical engineers can put hip and knee replacement parts into simulator to test how long it takes for the parts to wear out.

“One million cycles simulates what a person might do to their replacement joint in one year’s time,” said Petrak. “The researchers can test how different materials will hold up by putting them through wear-testing.”

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Eric Bohm, Director of Research for the Concordia Joint Replacement Group, specializes in primary and revision hip and knee replacement surgery. “This funding will do wonders toward clinical research and trials, along with bench-top biomedical engineering research such as that done in this surgical simulation room,” said Bohm, who is a member of the Winnipeg Health Region’s orthopedic surgery program.

Did you know?

* The Hip and Knee Institute opened its doors in 2009 at Concordia Hospital. The high-tech facility has allowed for the amalgamation of clinical joint care and surgery in the Winnipeg Health Region.

* It is home to a hip and knee assessment clinic, a digital imaging clinic, a research facility, a research laboratory, a training and education facility and a pre-habilitation clinic.

* The Institute boasts a knee surgical simulator suite, a scanning electron microscope, a digital X-ray lab and an implants retrieval lab where worn-out replacement hip and knee joints are stored for study of patterns of failure. The clinic also contains a conference centre connected to an operating room where surgical procedures can be viewed on a television screen.

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