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Delivering Leading Edge Orthopedic Medicine to Japan


Rotator cuff tears are very common in adults and are the leading cause of shoulder pain in people over 50 years of age. Patients with irreparable cuff tears may develop “Cuff Tear Arthropathy: CTA”; a form of shoulder arthritis. Until recently, CTA patients in Japan had very limited treatment options leaving a significant portion of the country’s population in discomfort with restricted mobility. This year the Japanese government, in conjunction with the Japanese Orthopaedic Association, approved the use of the Equinoxe® Shoulder System, an innovative solution manufactured and distributed by Exactech®, (Nasdaq:EXAC), a developer and producer of bone and joint restoration products and biologic solutions for extremities, knee and hip. This innovative shoulder prosthesis provides a biomechanically advantageous design that alleviates shoulder pain so patients may regain their quality of life.

This past August, the Japanese Orthopedic Association invited Dr. Trenhaile and Exactech® representatives Liz Flynn and Nick Ozello to Japan to deliver a Certified Medical Educational program for elite group of Japanese surgeons. The Japanese government mandated the course be delivered by an experienced and well respected surgeon with a long reputation of providing excellent patient outcomes. The Japanese surgeons who successfully complete the course are then allowed to use the Equinoxe® system in surgery.

The heavily scheduled, 5-day tour included multiple presentations in the cities of Tokyo and Fukui. Dr. Trenhaile delivered lectures educating surgeons on the design rationale of the Equinoxe® system, its clinical advantages, highlighted with 10 years of peer-reviewed clinical evidence, and improved patient outcomes. He also lectured more generally about Reverse Total Shoulder Arthroplasty (rTSA) indications, complications, preoperative plans, surgical technique, glenoid bone loss, and rehabilitation.

Dr. Trenhaile
L to R: Nick Ozello, Dr. Trenhaile, Dr. Yamakado, Liz Flynn

Dr. Trenhaile had the pleasure of sharing expertise with Dr. Yamakado, one of Japan’s most respected shoulder surgeons. He was given a private tour of Fukui General Hospital before scrubbing in to assist Dr. Yamakado in surgery. Dr. Trenhaile also presented lectures about the Exactech device and Reverse Total Shoulder technique to Dr. Nishinaka, the Head of Orthopedics at Showa University, and four of his fellow surgeons.

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Dr. Trenhaile lecturing at Certified Workshop

Dr. Trenhaile
Dr. Trenhaile teaching procedure during skills lab

On his busiest day in Japan, Dr. Trenhaile delivered 8 lectures to a full house of nearly 70 surgeons before facilitating a skills lab which provided the Japanese surgeons an opportunity to apply what they had learned. “Many of the surgeons expressed excitement to try the new implant and optimism for the improved results their patients would realize,” explained Exactech® representative Nick Ozello, “We closed the trip feeling that Dr. Trenhaile and Exactech® were leaving Japan in a better position than when we arrived and I’m proud to have been a part of it.”