Mobile medicine lab at Seton: Surgeons practice minimally invasive surgical technique on body parts

Drs. Christina Sheely and Ryan Tibbetts practice surgical techniques in the Arthrex Mobile Learning Center. (Courtesy Photo)

By STEVE TAYLOR
Special to the Hays Free Press

For some, the idea of a trailer outfitted with human body parts visiting a local hospital would be … well, kind of creepy.

For others, such as Drs. Christina Sheely and Ryan Tibbetts of Seton Medical Center Hays, it truly is a matter of life and limb.

Working inside the Arthrex Mobile Learning Center, which visited the Kyle hospital Oct. 30, the two orthopedic surgeons practiced some of the newest, most advanced techniques and learned to use the latest state-of-the-art, minimally invasive surgical tools for correcting sports injuries.

Thanks to microelectronic surgical tools that feature tiny cameras with spotlights and global positioning system (GPS) devices, surgeons now can routinely repair joints arthroscopically, tracking the procedure on a high-definition computer screen and without having to slice open patients.

This time, the trailer brought two cadaver parts – a knee and an elbow.

Sheely, who also is Seton Hays’ chief of surgery, practiced performing an anterior cruciate ligament repair of the knee. She also did an osteochondral autograft transfer – basically, correcting a gap in the knee, replacing missing cartilage.

Tibbetts, who like Sheely is a surgeon with Seton Orthopedic and Sports Medicine, performed an ulnar collateral ligament repair and a distal biceps repair (a tendon repair) on the elbow.

Such injuries are fairly common in any community, especially among amateur athletes, and increasingly among those of teen age.

Mobile labs such as Arthrex’s provide busy orthopedic surgeons the chance to learn at their doorsteps and minimize time away from patients. At other times, Arthrex’s lab offers surgeons the opportunity to practice on shoulders, hips and ankles.

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