Health Headlines: 3-D imaging for shoulder replacement

Start your day with 7 News Sunrise
Published: Oct. 24, 2022 at 7:00 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - With nearly 53,000 Americans undergoing shoulder replacement surgery every year, orthopedic surgeons are starting to use more advanced computer programs to pre-plan surgeries. That means more individualized treatment for the patent and often a better-restored range of motion, allowing patients to return to the activities they loved before.

64-year-old Dan Lidster had lived in pain for eight years. His aching shoulder kept him awake for nights, ruining his days.

He recalled, “Had to write everything down because I just couldn’t remember anything. I was in this huge fog.”

After a lifetime of working out, Lidster figured arthritis was the cause but he says he wasn’t ready for the Doctor’s prescription.

“He took x-rays of it, and he said, ‘I need to replace your shoulder.’ And I mean, it was like within 15 minutes of being there.”

But orthopedic surgeon with Mercy Medical Center, Gregory Gasbarro, mapped out a unique approach for Lidster, starting with a computerized CT scan.

Dr. Gasbarro explains, “The software program then makes a three-dimensional model of the patient’s shoulder.”

The three-dimensional image allows Dr. Gasbarro to virtually plan the position and orientation of the shoulder implant. This patient-specific guide is something that doctors can now use to customize the surgery for each patient.

“When you use the guide, what it does is it’s putting you down the best column of bones, so you can have stability, and it’s also pushing you in the correct direction so, you can correct the deformity.”

Dr. Gasbarro was able to replace Lidster’s shoulder in June 2020.

Now, Lidster says he’s much better about stretching and has returned to working out, “I have no issues, none at all. Can’t lift as heavy weights, but I can still lift weights. And that’s the important part. And I can do it pain-free.”

Dr. Gasbarro uses the 3-D imaging primarily for shoulder replacement surgeries, not for other shoulder procedures like rotator cuff repair or tendon repair.