Technology is critical
THE nation’s first short-stem prosthesis wasn’t the only cutting-edge component of the surgery.
Hi-tech navigation software was also used to ensure the shoulder replacement fell in the prime position.
‘‘The navigation aspect starts when I first see the patient before theatre and organise their operation,’’ Mr Garewal said.
‘‘They get a CT scan of the deformity of the socket side. And using that, the software calculates the best position for the shoulder placement to be put in.’’
Before the surgery, Mr Garewal spent time identifying where the best bone is in the socket.
He then planned where he wanted to place the shoulder replacement, as well as the best angles to use.
‘‘Once I’ve planned it, the data is then put onto a unit that I can then see in theatre and actually play with at the time,’’ he said.
‘‘Once we start the operation, I put a tracker into a little part of the bone just outside the shoulder but within the surgical field so both the unit and the tracker can speak to each other.’’
This means during the operation Mr Garewal can easily locate landmarks connected to the perioperative CT scan.
‘‘So it basically validates those points and tells my instruments where I am,’’ he said.
‘‘This will then allow me to be very accurate on where I put my drill holes and where I actually centre the main part of the prosthesis — but also makes sure the angle is correct so the shoulder replacement works really well.’’
ON TARGET: Devinder Garewal used software to guide the drill into bone. The guidance means the prosthesis will last longer as less stress is placed on a correctly aligned joint.