Cutting-edge option for complex shoulder replacement

June 17, 2021 | by Edward-Elmhurst Health

Orthopedic surgeons at Edward-Elmhurst Health are using the latest technology to give shoulder replacement patients optimal outcomes.

Computer-assisted arthroplasty, or computer-assisted shoulder replacement, makes use of 3D images and models to determine the implant type, position and location before surgery. A three-dimensional model is used during surgery as a guide to help optimize implant positioning and minimize bone loss.

“Historically, experienced surgeons would make intra-operative decisions based on X-ray imaging obtained prior to the operation,” explains Zahab Ahsan, M.D., one of the first orthopedic surgeons at Edward-Elmhurst Health to perform a computer-assisted shoulder replacement.

“Now we have this technology available to us and we can plan ahead using the computer software and templating, and recreate that plan exactly in the operating room with the 3D model,” he says.

Dr. Ahsan has completed five computer-assisted shoulder replacement procedures at Edward Hospital. As a fellow at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, he performed about 100 computer-assisted shoulder replacements. Though primarily used in shoulder replacement, the technology is also being introduced for hip and knee replacements, says Dr. Ahsan.

Edward-Elmhurst Health surgeons adopted this cutting-edge technology for computer-assisted shoulder replacements. How does it work?

Before surgery, patients undergo a CT scan of the shoulder and the results of the scan are uploaded into a computer software program. Surgeons use the program to map the surgery and positioning of the shoulder joint implant. Once the positioning is confirmed by the surgeon, a 3D model is created to use in surgery as a guide.

In surgery, the model is attached to the patient’s shoulder and used as a drilling guide. Once the holes are drilled, the implant is attached and secured. The 3D model and images allow surgeons to optimize alignment of the new shoulder joint, which can increase longevity of the implant and aid in patient recovery time.

Computer-assisted shoulder replacement is particularly beneficial in complex cases involving bone deformities or severe arthritis that has led to advanced wear or misalignment of the shoulder bones, says Dr. Ahsan.

“In my line of work, I constantly strive for perfection,” says Dr. Ahsan. “I’m very motivated to do better for my patients and this is one tool that I’ve found that allows me to do that.”

Learn more about treatments for shoulder issues at Edward-Elmhurst Health.

To learn more about Dr. Ahsan or to schedule an appointment online, visit his online profile.

The orthopedic team of experts at Edward-Elmhurst Medical Groups-Orthopedics provides exceptional orthopedic, sports medicine and podiatry services for patients of all ages. We use the least invasive treatments necessary to help you get back to the activities you enjoy, as quickly as possible. Learn more.


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