Tech­nol­ogy is crit­i­cal

The Riverine Herald - - NEWS -

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.

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