January 20, 2022

Washington University Orthopedics has long been at the forefront of cutting-edge surgical techniques that improve the quality of care we deliver to our patients. Not only do we use innovative techniques to treat patients, we help develop them. Recent collaborations with commercial industry partners have led to the development of computer software programs that enhance the accuracy of shoulder replacement surgery.

Precise Visualization and Surgical Planning

One such software program uses computerized tomography (CT) scan images to reconstruct the bony anatomy of a patient’s shoulder. This allows surgeons to clearly see the bone deformities that develop with conditions like osteoarthritis and rotator cuff disease. The software also allows visualization of a surgical plan that matches the patient’s exact anatomy, including planning for the best shoulder replacement size, position and configuration.

Precise surgical planning helps patients achieve greater shoulder range of motion and joint control after a replacement. It also helps to minimize complications such as implant dislocation and premature loosening.

Revolutionizing the Understanding of Deformities

Preliminary studies performed at Washington University and other institutions have demonstrated the value of CT scan software planning for patients undergoing shoulder arthroplasty. Currently, CT software planning is performed in cases of advanced bone deformity of the shoulder (estimated to be approximately 70% of patients undergoing shoulder replacement surgery). This technology enables Washington University Orthopedics’ shoulder specialists to apply cutting-edge technology to improve the care of our shoulder arthroplasty patients.

"Computer assisted CAT scan software has revolutionized our understanding of shoulder arthritic bone deformities and improved our ability to successfully execute shoulder replacement surgery," shares Jay Keener, MD

Case Study

In the following case, you can see how patient care is improved with this software technology. A 75-year-old female with a long-standing rotator cuff tear and arthritis in her dominant right shoulder is examined.

Washington University Orthopedics is your go-to for common and complex shoulder and elbow conditions. To make an appointment with a specialist, call (314)-514-3500.

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