Computers are bringing new surgical options and relief to patients suffering from disabling arthritis of the shoulder.

Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center is the first hospital in a five-state region to offer total shoulder replacement using ExactechGPS®, a surgeon-controlled, computer-assisted technology. Dr. Craig Miller, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist, performed the first surgery using the technology in late September.

ExactechGPS® combines software and innovative instruments to help surgeons develop patient-specific plans and improve accuracy as they implant the socket in a shoulder replacement.

“The technology’s preoperative planning tool helps us understand each patient’s anatomy prior to surgery,” Dr. Miller said. During the operation, “it provides visibility into the socket vault in real time and allows for consistent, accurate placement.”

A recent study showed that more accurate placement minimizes complications and theoretically increases implant survivability.  “It is the only way to see a real-time view into our patients’ shoulders,” Dr. Miller said. “Also, the ability to adjust the surgical plan intraoperatively offers us more flexibility than any other system.”

The technology can offer relief to any type of shoulder arthritis that is resistant to other traditional treatments, like medication, corticosteroid shots, reduced activity or physical therapy.

“It is our goal to do all total shoulder replacements this way in the future,” Dr. Miller added.

For more information about ExactechGPS® or the orthopedic surgery program at Shady Grove, contact Kristen Black, RN, at 240-826-7591 or