In addition to hosting groups of surgeons for educational courses through his visiting surgeons program, Dr. Trenhaile lectured over thirty times at various orthopedic symposiums and educational forums across the U.S. and Europe in 2016. “I love having the opportunity to learn about innovations my colleagues in the field are discovering,” explained Dr. Trenhaile. This focus on innovation may be what sparks Dr. Trenhaile’s ideas for a new device or technique which could possibly improve his patients’ outcomes but, on its own, a great idea won’t get very far.
The process of obtaining a patent in the field of medicine is lengthy and expensive. Years of experience may lead a surgeon to invent an idea for a mechanism or process that may improve the efficiency of a surgery and/or improve the experience for the patient. Moving that idea from the mind of the inventor to the hands of the public requires investments of both time and capital. A patent grants exclusive commercial rights to an inventor and their investors for a period of time. After the surgeon(s) perfect the invention, it needs to be tested, produced, and brought to market. “It doesn’t make financial sense to pursue patents, but impacting medicine with ideas born of my own experience is incredibly rewarding,” said Dr. Trenhaile.
Dr. Trenhaile has had the opportunity of seeing his ideas brought to the commercial market in ways that offer surgeons an alternative to traditional open surgeries. Alternative arthroscopic procedures may reduce patient recovery times and be performed in conjunction with other arthroscopic procedures. He has also invented tools which improve the patients’ experience, like the U.S.8 414 352 B2 Surgical Garment, nicknamed, “the Jane” which offers female patients comfort and a degree of modesty during surgery and postoperatively. “Medicine is a fluid field. In order to best serve my patients, I’m consistently working to develop improved tools and techniques” said, Dr. Trenhaile.