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    Nearly 10 years ago, renowned orthopaedic surgeon Dr H. Robert and physiotherapist Mr S. Nouveau came up with an innovative and redesigned arthrometer. Yet, while uniting their expertise to make this project a reality, they did not know that they would revolutionize the approach of ACL treatment.

    In the years following, their invention indeed helped in discovering that the future of treating ACL tears not only lies in the surgical technique used, but also in the post-surgical treatments prescribed.

    A brief description of the GNRB adventure...

    In 2007, Dr Robert and Mr Nouveau already experienced healthcare professionals aimed to specialize in the field of ACL treatment. Following this decision, they started looking into arthrometers as they knew these tools would significantly enhance their medical care approach. However, while conducting their research, they quickly hit a brick wall.

    GNRB arthrometer

    GNRB arthrometer

    The arthrometers present on the market at the time were indeed not at the height of their expectations. Most of the tools available were created a significant time ago (1970's for the KT-1000 and KT-2000), based on out-dated technologies and in some cases no longer manufactured (Rolimeter). 

    Therefore, not being convinced by any device they decided to undertake a new arthrometer project, the GNRB project which would later catapult them at the cutting edge of ACL treatment

    A New Generation of Arthrometers : Laximeters

    As technology and research around the ACL had significantly evolved since the appearance of arthrometers, Dr Robert and Mr Nouveau quickly realized that creating a new automated and computerized arthrometer was within their reach. In the course of these events, the idea of merging an already confirmed physical ACL assessment technique with technology rapidly came to them.

    ACL laxity curves

    ACL laxity curves

    Consequently, they decided to combine automation with the Lachman test, the most reliable physical examination test regarding ACL diagnosis. Hence was created the GNRB, which later came to be labelled as the precursor of a new generation of arthometers among the orthopaedic community.

    Various quantified forces being applied on the knee was mainly the reason why this device was associated to a breakthrough. For the first time, ACL laxity curves could indeed be drawn and precise objective results on ACL laxity were thus provided. As a result, a new name was given to this innovative arthrometer: Laximeter.

    Involvment of arthrometers in the future of ACL Tears treatment

    Arthrometers having already been around for some time now, their fame primarily emerged during the 1990s. Despite being critically acclaimed during this decade, these tools were slowly cast aside by the orthopaedic community as they classified them as "Study research tools". This was mainly due to the existence of subjective tests such as the Lachman test, which are considered "enough" for diagnostic purposes.

    While the application of such tests may be "enough" before surgery, no test alike to the Lachman has ever been put forward for post-surgical purposes. Running such tests during the months following surgery is indeed too risky, as they require the clinician to apply the non-quantifiable strength of his/her arms. Yet, this is precisely where the third generation of arthrometers (Laximeter) marks a turn in events as the forces applied always being controlled enables to analyze the plasty without endangering it.

    This truly offers a new innovating approach to the treatment of ACL tears as healthcare professionals are now able, with the GNRB, to objectively evaluate with a reproducible method the state of the ACL graft during the months after surgery. Collecting data during this period and comparing it during time is indeed a true game-changer as it was nearly impossible until now.

    Further to these statements, recent studies have proven that during this portion of time, the ACL graft undergoes many changes that have a direct impact on knee stability in the years following the surgery. Obtaining feedback on the evolution of the ACL graft is therefore crucial to maximize the chances of gaining knee stability and this is exactly why laximeters will be significanlty involved in the future ACL tears treatment.

    Check out our other article comparing the GNRB to the famous KT-1000/KT-2000.