Best Life: From gaming to the operating room

Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 6:40 AM CST
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LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – More than 53,000 people will have shoulder replacement surgery this year. The average age is 60 to 80. And just like knee and hip replacement surgeries, this procedure can be a life changer.

Now, technology used in some of the latest mixed reality games is making this surgery even better than ever before.

Pokemon Go, a mixed reality game that captivated millions of people urging them to find this 3D hologram character superimposed in their own reality, is now becoming a reality in the operation room.

“The mixed reality headset allows us to use the patient’s anatomy in a 3D constructed program that allows us to plan for their case,” said orthopedic surgeon at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, California, Brian Rebolledo, MD.

Rebolledo is one of the first in the country to use 3D hologram technology to give him more insight at the operating table during surgery.

“It gives us a detailed map of the patient’s anatomy and we bring that map into the operating room with us. So, we’re able to use the headset with the 3D hologram and bring that right next to the patient while we’re putting the implants in,” said Rebolledo.

Before surgery, CT scans are used to create a hologram of the patient’s shoulder.

“The technology works with a headset that we use in the operating room, and this is by voice command and hand control commands,” said Rebolledo.

Surgeons can rotate and zoom in or out of the hologram model while comparing it in real-time to the patient’s own anatomy.

“What that allows us to do is to minimize the risk of improper placement, to minimize the risk, hopefully, of loosening over time, and to minimize risk to the soft tissue around the shoulder,” said Rebolledo.

Before 3D holograms, surgeons relied on X-rays and CT scans to help guide them. This gives them an even more realistic view of what’s really going on. Scripps Clinic is one of 33 health care providers in the U.S. using mixed reality technology for shoulder replacement surgery.

Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer & Editor.

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