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Article Reviews the Evolution of Arthroscopy from its Invention in 1912 to the Dawn of the Wireless ArthroFree™ Era

May 23, 2022


A recent history of arthroscopy by Dr. James S. Williams, Jr., and Dr. Asheesh Gupta reports that while there have been numerous incremental advances in arthroscopic camera technology over the last half-century, the current systems remain largely unchanged. Surgeons are tethered to the surgical tower by a power cable and by a light cord that is often implicated in OR fires and patient burns. The cables also require staff time to set up, take down and properly clean, and they put OR staff at risk for trips and falls. But we are at the dawn of a new era. The survey article is published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Experience & Innovation, available here.

Arthroscopic surgery was invented in 1912, when Dr. Severin Nordentofts used a cystoscope powered by an incandescent light to visualize a knee joint. This form of visualization initiated the paradigm shift from open surgery to minimally invasive surgery. The next major paradigm shift occurred in the mid-1970s with the connection of the arthroscopic camera via a fiber-optic cable, powered by a Xenon or LED light, to a display monitor on the surgical tower. This system has helped propel the arthroscopic market to an expected US $16.3 BN by 2027.

Today, the ArthroFree™ System—with its wireless arthroscopic surgical camera—is expected to initiate the next paradigm shift in arthroscopy, according to the article. The expected benefits include ease of use, improved OR efficiency, reduction in costs, and better patient outcomes.

Developed by Cleveland-based Lazurite Holdings LLC, ArthroFree recently became the first wireless camera for arthroscopy and general endoscopy to receive market clearance from the Food and Drug Administration.

“The ArthroFree System is designed to free the surgeon from the tethers of video power and fiber-optic light cables in order to allow more ergonomic and efficient surgical movements, which will likely shorten procedure time,” Dr. Williams said. “The wireless age will mark the end of the ‘short-cabled’ surgeon and will benefit all participants in the performance of an arthroscopic surgical procedure.”

Dr. Williams is employed by Lazurite as its Chief Medical Advisor. He joined the company in early 2021 and is an investor. He is the retired Chief of Orthopedic Surgery at Cleveland Clinic (Euclid). He received his M.D. from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. He completed his residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital-Lifespan and a fellowship in Orthopaedic Sports Medicine at Rush University Medical Center. He is a former assistant team physician to The Cleveland Guardians and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Dr. Gupta is an orthopedist in private practice in the Washington D.C. area, and a partner with the Centers for Advanced Orthopedics. He received his M.D. from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. He completed his residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago and a fellowship in Orthopaedic Sports Medicine at NYU-HJD, as well as a hip preservation fellowship at the American Hip Institute. He in an entrepreneur and investor with Lazurite.

Lazurite (formerly Indago) is a pre-revenue medical device startup company backed by private capital. The company has raised more than $18 million to date from institutional investors, family offices, and more than 50 physician champions. The Cleveland-based company (est. 2015) designs devices to set new operating-room standards for efficiency and patient safety. Lazurite’s ArthroFree™ System is the first wireless surgical camera system to receive FDA market clearance for arthroscopy and general endoscopy. The ArthroFree System enables surgical visualization in minimally invasive surgery without the camera and light wires implicated in patient infections and burns. Lazurite’s current product pipeline includes devices that incorporate their patented camera technology and laser light technology. Lazurite’s technologies are protected by a comprehensive intellectual property portfolio encompassing the ArthroFree wireless surgical camera system and the novel Meridiem™ light source as well as other products currently in development. For more information, see:

See Full Press Release at the Source: New Real-Article Reviews the Evolution of Arthroscopy from its Invention in 1912 to the Dawn of the Wireless ArthroFree™ Era

Press Release by: Lazurite 

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