Innovative Technologies used in Orthopedic Surgery

Dr. Grant Garcia: So, we’re going to talk today about the innovative things that we do here at Orthopedic Specialists of Seattle, especially for shoulder replacements. So, we have these innovative technologies to improve our patient outcomes and to get a better shoulder replacement. So, as you’ve heard us talk about this before, but going to a specialist is very important. And the reason is because you want someone that understands the new technology, because in order to do that, when you do the new technology, you can improve outcomes. And so, the outcomes and the technology we have here are we do, we get a CT scan of the patient’s shoulder, and then we can process that information, and we actually have your shoulder in a three-dimensional model on our computer.

And then what I do is; I go home and actually plan out the surgery. I can do all the cuts, I can do all the realignment, everything I needed to do to prepare for the surgery of your shoulder. And for the more complicated ones, which actually ends up being more common than we think. Because again, people tend to wait a little bit longer to have their shoulders done, then their knees or their hips. We can actually prepare for that.

And with this newer instrumentation that we have some of it, which we were able to see in France or did some of my training over there was we can actually place that pin and replace the socket that we talked about in an innovative way on the computer ahead of time. And then we can actually get a 3D printed model, which is pretty cool in the operating room. And then I can actually adjust and prepare where I’m going to put my pin even before I actually do it during the surgery. And that allows us to have almost absolute precision during the surgery and makes it a lot easier on sort of all parties to make sure we can have a more efficient surgery for you, reduce blood loss, reduce pain, and overall better implantation. Because what we’ve seen is if you put that pin and you put that socket in near perfectly, you can have results of 90 to 95% with minimal loosening and really successful results in the long run, which I think is important, especially as we start doing more and more of these shoulder replacements, and they’re becoming increasingly more common in patients that are in their 60s, who are going to live 20, 30, more years. And so that’s really what we’re doing here at Orthopedic Specialists of Seattle.

We also have newer implantation. We actually come up with certain devices and come up with techniques to improve our patients as well. Another innovative thing is we use Stemless technology. So, what that means is we have a, the humorous I talked to you about before like this, and that’s sort of the ball portion of the socket. And then when we take that off, we actually put a stemless option on which we don’t have to put a stem down anymore. And there’s been data that shows it’s improved our time, improved blood loss for the patients and improve pain, not to mention we’re saving bone, which is always important. It’s the same thing in the hip and the need for you to try to reduce and save bone. Then if something in the future is needed, we have, you know, almost anatomically normal shoulder and that’s really important. And we’ve seen really, really good results in this. And this tends to be one of our hottest fields of continued work.

The other thing that we’re doing here, Orthopedic Specialists of Seattle that we’ve come up with is a newer repair for the rotator cuff in the front. So, the way it works is you, when you have to do this surgery, we have to take off what we call your subscapularis or the rotator cuff muscle in the front. And through some innovative technology, we’ve been able to develop a newer repair for this because one of the complications are called devastating complications of a shoulder replacement is this muscle doesn’t heal after we take it off, and that can be a problem and a major problem. And it happens in about 1% of patients. So, by doing this, we’ve seen in my practice, I’ve seen faster recovery, reduced need of the slang and stronger rotator cuff, even at two to three weeks, which is quite impressive. So, we’ve been able to use the sports background with the shoulder replacement background to combine and make this sort of innovative new technique. And we can do this technique even in the stemless options or the options with stems. And this I think has made improved outcomes for our patients. And we have a fair number of patients that come here to take a look at this technique and try to be a part of it.

And you can find this on our website as well to see the techniques that we’re coming up with. And there are more things down the line that we’re continuing to work on. We’re finding more and more innovative ways to make this more of an efficient procedure to make ourselves even more perfect and how we can continue to improve our outcomes. And I think the nice thing about Orthopedic Specialists of Seattle is we’re constantly on the cutting-edge using evidence-based data to improve our patient outcomes.

So, check us out on the website and we’re happy to see you for consultation, and hopefully we can show you the different things we do here and how we’re trying to stay on top and always make improvements.




About Grant H. Garcia

Dr. Grant Garcia is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with advanced accredited fellowship training in Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery. Dr. Garcia’s primary focus for his practice is Sports Medicine, having a great interest in returning athletes safely to their sport after shoulder, knee and elbow injuries and surgeries.