Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Roper St. Francis orthopaedic surgeon attracts international attention for expertise with GPS software
Drs. Ali Saeed Alsuwaidi and Saeed Ali Al Thani. This was Dr. Price’s first opportunity teaching international physicians about the software. Drs. Alsuwaidi and Al Thani, both leaders in their field in the United Arab Emirates, were the first physicians from their country to see Exactech’s software used in real time.
They observed a total of three surgeries with Dr. Price, which included both anatomic total shoulder replacements and reverse total shoulder replacements.
“We were absolutely amazed by the GPS technology and the reliable results it provides every time,” Dr. Alsuwaidi said. “When you’re dealing with something as delicate as the shoulder, accuracy couldn’t be more important, and this technology significantly decreases the margin of error.”
Drs. Alsuwaidi and Al Thani were eager to see the software in action so that they could use it in their practices back home.
“It was fascinating learning about this technology and picking up tips and tricks from surgeons well-versed in the techniques required to operate the GPS software,” Dr. Al Thani said.
Dr. Althani expressed his gratitude for his time with Roper St. Francis Healthcare physicians.
“Everyone was so friendly,” Dr. Al Thani said. “We thoroughly enjoyed our experience discussing our shared knowledge of orthopedics with Dr. Price.”
How it works
The process of using Exactech’s GPS computer-assisted software begins before surgery.
A CT scan is taken of the patient’s shoulder and sent to Exactech’s office in Bordeaux, France, which then sends back a personalized 3D representation, allowing surgeons to operate in virtual space ahead of time. Everything is mapped out in advance – which drills and reamers to use and the optimal placement for the prosthetic joint.
While other companies make computer-assisted software that allows you to plan for shoulder replacement surgeries ahead of time, Exactech is the only one with software that allows you to then see the virtual structure of the glenoid – or the socket joint of the shoulder – in real time. It also gives surgeons the option to change their digital plan during the surgery, if necessary.
The surgeon begins with hand-screwing a GPS tracker into the shoulder, while the patient’s unique anatomy is transmitted onto a computer screen. From then on, the screen displays the model of the patient’s anatomy, a familiar black and white scene, like that of an x-ray.
Throughout the procedure, the software highlights navigational guidance for everything from drilling pilot holes to the actual prosthetic insertion. A yellow crosshair flashes over the virtual anatomy, indicating the optimal location for, say, reaming.
Now that Dr. Price is a master consultant for Exactech, he looks forward to more opportunities to teach in the future. He recently attended the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, educating physicians at the company’s booth.
Dubai’s Exactech Representative Steve Dimitrious expressed his gratitude for Roper St. Francis Healthcare’s hospitality.
“This was such an awesome experience for me and for the visiting physicians,” Dimitrious said. “Roper Hospital was unbelievably accommodating and provided an amazing opportunity for us to witness the beauty in American healthcare.”