Just as no two people are exactly alike, no two shoulder joints are exactly the same. That's why Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine has invested in the latest surgical technology to create patient-specific surgical plans and improve the accuracy of total shoulder joint replacements.

ExactechGPS(R) is a guided, personalized surgery system that provides surgeons with real-time visual guidance and alignment information during shoulder surgery. Similar to a navigation device in a car, this advanced platform provides a visual map of the patient's shoulder on a screen, allowing surgeons to combine preoperative planning with computer-assisted technology during the surgery, aligning the procedure to each patient's individual needs.

"With total shoulder joint replacements, the longevity and functionality of the implant really depends on its proper placement and alignment," said Dr. Michael O'Brien, an orthopedic surgeon with TISM with specialized fellowship training in shoulder and elbow surgery. "We are now able to operate with a new level of accuracy and precision."

ExactechGPS combines surgeon expertise with an advanced computer system. Personalized for each patient's unique bone structure and anatomy, the technology helps surgeons decide where to remove bone and place the shoulder implant in the optimal position.

The technology's preoperative planning tool allows surgeons to plan their cases in advance of the surgery through a virtual simulation. Surgeons can then execute their plan in real time during the surgery based on a 3-D anatomical model of the patient's shoulder, making adjustments as needed.

The new technology is available at Tulane Lakeside Hospital, which is expanding its focus on adult services and adding an adult intensive care unit, expanded orthopedic capabilities and other services to its already robust women's, obstetrics and neonatal intensive care services.

"We are excited about the enhancements we're making to the orthopedic program at Tulane Lakeside," Dr. O'Brien said of the Metairie campus. "New access points and convenient locations can make a big difference, especially for patients suffering from joint pain."

To learn more about the Tulane Health System's orthopedic and sports medicine services. To make an appointment with a Tulane orthopedic specialist, please call the Tulane Orthopedic Clinic at (504) 899-2177.