New innovations in non-invasive jaw fixation: Q&A with Dr. Alan Johnson

Alan Johnson, MD, an otolaryngologist with Altru Health System in Grand Forks, N.D., invented the Minne Ties Agile MMF, a non-invasive jaw-fixation device available for oral and facial plastic surgeons to treat jaw fractures without bars, bone screws and wires.

Dr. Johnson discusses his innovation with Becker's Dental + DSO Review and where he sees the technology making the biggest difference in the future.

Question: How is this technology disrupting the traditional method of treating jaw fracture?

Dr. Alan Johnson: Minne Ties are disrupting the traditional approaches in multiple ways: Allowing maxillomandibular fixation to be applied easily in [clinical settings], emergency departments or operating rooms; speeding the time to achieve maxillomandibular fixation to 10 to 15 minutes of application, eliminating the sharps injury risk of wires and reducing the tissue trauma and dental injury risks compared to previous approaches.

Q: What are the clinical benefits for the patients?

AJ: The clinical benefits for patients with Minne Ties are:

● Less tissue trauma during application and throughout the treatment duration compared to metal/wire techniques
● Shorter operative time
● Easy removal in clinic, as opposed to removal of arch bars or hybrid systems for maxillomandibular fixation that typically occur in the OR

Q: How will a surgeon's workflow change with this technology? What innovation in patient care will surgeons see?

AJ: Surgeons will see a shorter application time in the OR with Minne Ties. Potentially more importantly, they will find that removal of the devices in clinics is easy and quick, eliminating the potential need to return to the OR for removal. Lastly, in less complicated fractures these devices can be applied in the ER or clinic for closed reduction management, which can eliminate any trips to the OR in selected cases.

Q: Where are the biggest opportunities for this technology within a value-based care environment?

AJ: The biggest opportunities are in the reduction of OR time expended to treat mandible fractures and maxilla fractures. Additional applications for maxillomandibular fixation, such as orthognathic surgery, will also benefit. Again, patient comfort with these devices should be an additional value. More information can be found at https://www.minneties.com/

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