Computer Aided Shoulder Arthroplasty

Computer-Aided Shoulder Arthroplasty

If you have severe shoulder pain or you can’t fully extend your arm over your head, you may have arthritis or another serious shoulder condition. The surgeons and other members of our team are available to offer orthopedic services to residents of Bethesda and the surrounding areas. We’re ready to examine you and determine if your condition requires shoulder replacement surgery.


What Is Computer-Aided Shoulder Arthroplasty?

Computer-aided shoulder arthroplasty, also called computer-assisted shoulder replacement, involves using three-dimensional imaging and templating to determine the implant type, position and size before the operation. It also uses real-time images and navigation during the process to increase surgical accuracy and reduce the likelihood of complications.

Benefits of Computer-Aided Shoulder Arthroplasty

Computer-aided shoulder arthroplasty advantages include:

  • Accuracy: The navigation system allows the orthopedic surgeon to use precise and reproducible methods to establish inferior glenoid tilt.
  • Reduced amount of force: The accurate navigation technology minimizes shear forces on the interface of the bone-implant.
  • Higher rate of survival: The number of survivors who will not need revisions can increase for reverse shoulder arthroplasties.
  • Time savings: Navigation technology saves time when there’s a severe deformity, fractures or complex anatomy.
  • Effectiveness in obese patients: Obesity doesn’t affect the placement of tracking devices in shoulder arthroplasty the way it does in knee or hip arthroplasties.

What Is the Computer-Assisted Shoulder Replacement Procedure?

During your visit to our facility, you’ll meet with an orthopedic surgeon who will examine you and decide if you need a computer-assisted shoulder replacement. After going through your medical history and performing a detailed physical exam, the doctor will assess your mobility and the amount of pain you feel.

In some cases, your doctor will order other diagnostic tests such as an MRI or computer tomography (CT) scans to evaluate native glenoid morphology. If we’re convinced that you need shoulder replacement surgery, we’ll explain the steps of the procedure, so you can feel fully prepared for it.

The steps of the surgery include:

  1. Administering regional or general anesthesia.
  2. Connecting optical trackers, navigated pointer probe, navigated canal introducer and other parts of the navigation system to the appropriate parts of the shoulder.
  3. Receiving real-time feedback about changes in inclination and version relative to the glenoid from the tracking device connected to the glenoid reamer.
  4. A navigated plate records retroversion and inclination of the humeral head.

Computer-navigated anatomic shoulder arthroplasty is quite useful because the trackers stay secure during the surgical procedure, and they don’t hinder surgical performance or access to the areas requiring surgery. Trackers are also safe because they don’t damage the surrounding tissues.

Further Reading

Shoulder Arthritis and Shoulder Replacement

How Dr. Craig Miller Uses New Technology to Improve Shoulder Surgery


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Contact OrthoBethesda to Discover if Computer-Aided Shoulder Replacement Is Right for You

OrthoBethesda is your premier shoulder treatment and orthopedic care provider in Bethesda, MD. We use cutting-edge technologies such as computer-aided shoulder arthroplasty. To book an appointment with one of our specially trained orthopedic surgeons, contact us now by calling (301) 530-1010. We’re ready and willing to help you today!