Case Studies shoulder and elbow2

Confirming the right course of treatment and improving the patient consent process with physical 3D models

Case Study
  • Orthopedics

Dr. Michael Pearl is an Orthopedic Surgeon with a specialty in shoulder and elbow surgery. When researching for a case regarding a bone deformity, he found that the literature he consulted was opposing his own instincts about the treatment. To gain more clarity, he had a 1:1 anatomical 3D model created, specific to the patient’s anatomy. The physical model helped him thoroughly familiarize with the patient’s anatomy and confirm the diagnosis with certainty.

"For a young adult patient with a normal hand and reasonable shoulder and elbow function, it was important to be as clear and precise as possible about the surgical plan and how it would likely impact overall function and cosmesis. In this particular case, the patient was a healthcare professional, actually an upper extremity therapist (OT). Having the 3D model allowed for optimal shared decision-making and a surgical plan that could precisely plan the osteotomy and placement of the hardware. This allowed for a surgical approach that minimized soft tissue trauma by optimizing the size and position of the plate, and targeting an amount of rotation that had the greatest chance of improving range of motion in the intended direction without inadvertently losing any in the opposite direction.”

Image above: pre-operative ROM

”The 3D model enabled me to be certain that I was making the right decision and plan for a surgery where I could correct the problem with precision.”

When explaining the procedure, Dr. Pearl found that the patient really benefited from seeing the physical model of the affected bones and they could discuss the procedure more in detail.

“Having the 3D model in hand, I could be very specific about what the surgical objectives were. It’s the level of informed consent that is really unparalleled.”

Dr. Pearl says that using 3D models highlights the gaps in conventional 2D imaging, shows the problem from different perspectives, and helps with planning the surgery with the least amount of trauma to the patient.

Having worked with Axial3D models, he says “The quality of the model is better than anything I’ve seen in other areas… The ease with working with the company, and the professionalism was exceptional.”

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