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Joint arthroplasty patients at The Miriam Hospital experience infections at a rate substantially below the national average, but even those few are too many for Valentin Antoci, MD, PhD, an orthopedic surgeon, researcher and assistant professor of orthopedics at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
The hip and knee surgeon is pursuing avenues of research that will lead to better outcomes — both in the short and long terms — for patients treated at the Total Joint Center at The Miriam Hospital and beyond. Dr. Antoci’s research interests focus on “smart” joint implant design, tissue engineering, and biological interactions at the implant interface (such as coating titanium surfaces with the antibiotic Vancomycin to ward off infection).
In his research, Dr. Antoci collaborates with the Shukla Lab for Designer Biomaterials, headed by Anita Shukla, PhD, within the School of Engineering at Brown University. Engineering hydrogels for targeted delivery of antibiotics is among the lab’s pursuits. Dr. Antoci underscores the advantages of working across disciplines in “coming up with new solutions to problems.” The cross-pollination of ideas leads to novel approaches, he suggests.
Dr. Antoci also works with Christopher Born, MD, who heads the Diane N. Weiss Center for Orthopaedic Trauma Research at Rhode Island Hospital, and his collaborator, pharmacologist and microbiologist Dioscaris R. Garcia, PhD. Dr. Born’s research interests include the development of antimicrobial coatings for orthopedic trauma implants. His team also developed a rapid test to identify, during surgery, the bacteria causing an infection, allowing a more effective choice of treatment.
While these research endeavors are promising, Dr. Antoci emphasizes the importance of preventing infections in the first place. Taking steps in advance of surgery such as improving diet, quitting smoking, getting diabetes under control and losing weight, as well as using a special skin cleanser immediately before surgery, all contribute to a successful outcome.
In his study published in May 2016 in the Rhode Island Medical Journal “Modifiable Risk Factors in Total Joint Arthroplasty: A Pilot Study.” Dr Jenkins reports his very promising results through helping patients improve their pre-operative risk before surgery and how that can improve their outcomes after surgery.
Dr. Jenkins was also recently published in Orthopaedic Surgery’s most prestigious and highest-impact rated Journal, the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, with his colleagues from the Mayo Clinic on techniques for complex Hip Revision Surgery. This is the second time that Dr. Jenkins has been published as first author in this prestigious peer-reviewed Journal and this particular article “reports very important and useful information to the Joint Replacement Community on the use of new technologies for hip revision surgery,” Jenkins says. The article titled “Minimum Five-Year Outcomes with Porous Tantalum Acetabular Cup and Augment Construct in Complex Revision Total Hip Arthroplasty” was Published in May 2017. “The good work that we all are doing here at the Total Joint Center for our patients is getting noticed on the National level. Being part of the teaching program at Brown University and involved in clinical research allows us to share our experience with the Orthopedic Community and contribute to the advancement of Science, Medicine, and Orthopedics. The end result is the most technologically-advanced, evidence-based care for our patients here in Rhode Island.”
Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at the Brown University Warren Alpert Medical School, Dr. Jenkins is actively involved in the education of Residents and Medical Students and was recently honored with a Brown University Certificate of Recognition for exemplary teaching “honoring teaching effort and dedication to the highest standards of teaching in the preclinical curriculum” as Course Leader in BIOL 3665 IMS II: Supporting Structures at Brown Medical School. His research interests focus on the incorporation of advanced techniques and technology in Joint Replacement Surgery including the direct anterior approach for minimally invasive hip replacement and is the Principal Investigator in multiple Research Review Board Approved Studies.
Dr. Jenkins, Dr. Antoci and the Lifespan Orthopedics Institute are also dedicated to Community Service through work with the Arthritis Foundation. For his work on the advancement of arthritis treatments, Dr. Jenkins was chosen as the Medical Honoree at the 2016 Rhode Island Walk To Cure Arthritis and Dr. Antoci will be the Honoree this year in 2017. The Orthopedics Institute has been a proud gold level sponsor at both events.
Derek Jenkins, MD was published in JBJS as first author on an important article reporting long-term outcomes of complex hip reconstruction surgery: Minimum Five-Year Outcomes with Porous Tantalum Acetabular Cup and Augment Construct in Complex Revision Total Hip Arthroplasty.