01 Nov Clinician profile: Dr Jason Snibbe (US Orthopaedic Surgeon)
Dr Jason Snibbe is an orthopaedic surgeon based in Los Angeles who specialises in shoulder hip and knee surgeries across two hospitals: Cedar Sinai and St John’s. Dr Snibbe performs approximately 700 surgeries a year – around 300 hip replacements, 150-200 knee replacements and 200-250 shoulder replacements, as well as occasional hip arthroscopy.
Orthopaedic surgery often comes with various complications that can lead to ongoing pain and reduced independence and quality of life for patients. A leading complication with orthopaedic procedures is oedema (swelling) which occurs subsequent to a traumatic event that triggers an inflammatory response.
The significance of oedema reduction
When discussing the frequent complications with oedema he witnesses in his surgeries, Dr Snibbe shared: “The reduction of oedema makes a significant difference in many things but primarily in wound healing. The more tension there is in the tissues, the more stress there is on the incision so the incision can pull apart, separate and start leaking. Oedema can cause a higher risk of infection, particularly for the wound. Wound healing is very critical in a joint replacement because there is metal under that knee and an infection can create a disaster in the surgery.
“In my clinic we focus on the reduction of oedema for wound healing, pain and increased function. The overall oedema reduction is a significant part of improving these elements of recovery; the quicker we can reduce it, the better the results of the surgery.”
Tackling oedema with the geko™ device
Standard of care oedema reduction in the US recommends compression therapy to apply pressure to the part of the body the surgery was performed on, pushing the blood and lymphatic fluid away from the affected area and subsequently reducing swelling.
“Our use of the geko™ device for approximately two years has helped us deliver a dramatic change in the results of our surgeries. Previously, I would see my patients in the hospital, then they would go home for two weeks where they would be walking and receiving physical therapy. But when they came back in, they would have a significant amount of swelling in their leg.
“With the use of the geko™ device, the patients return at that two-week mark with a significant reduction in oedema and now – for the first time with the geko™ device we have seen patients come back with almost negligible oedema.”
The geko™ device is used for DVT prophylaxis (blood clot prevention) and increased blood flow in the lower extremity for post-surgical patients and wound healing issues. Its unique mechanism of action, whereby the common peroneal nerve is stimulated via a painless electrical pulse, increases circulation which is critical for wound healing for improving the function of the limb post-surgery.
Optimising and enhancing recovery
Many hospitals around the world are exploring a new method of treatment for patients undergoing surgery to help optimise recovery and enhance patient outcomes following orthopaedic surgery. Implementing medical technologies that can reduce post-surgical complications will help cut down time spent on patients requiring post-operative support, saving time, money and resources, as well as improve patient satisfaction, helping them reach a full recovery sooner.
Dr Snibbe and his clinical team have demonstrated the benefits of adopting innovation to aid recovery following orthopaedic surgery. Now in Dr Snibbe’s practice, all lower extremity procedures will use the geko™ device – including any hip, knee or ankle surgeries like an Achilles tendon repair. The geko™ device has proven useful in supporting the recovery for non-surgical issues like ankle sprains or injured medial collateral ligaments (MCLs), indicating the device’s potential for supporting patients through recovery where oedema is a leading complication.
Watch Dr Snibbe discuss the impact of the geko™ device in his practice here.
Watch Dr Snibbe demonstrate geko™ ease of use here.