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AI and computer navigation are changing surgery as we know it

Palm Beach Post "Ask the Expert" column features Ryan W. Simovitch, MD, sports medicine surgeon and Associate Medical Director for Ambulatory Services at HSS Florida, discussing how the use of computer navigation and artificial intelligence (AI) continues to revolutionize surgery.

Dr. Simovitch explained computer navigation has ensured patients undergoing anatomic and reverse shoulder replacements an accuracy of implant positioning that wasn’t possible before. Inoperative positional trackers are used to communicate with a computer to follow a surgeon-prepared surgical plan. The system provides real time feedback for the preparation of bone and insertion of shoulder replacement implants. Surgeons can now execute their preoperative plan within mere degrees of accuracy, said Dr. Simovitch.

Additionally, Dr. Simovitch noted he and others are exploring how machine learning models can develop algorithms to predict a patient’s satisfaction, range of motion, pain and function after surgery. This technology provides an accurate glimpse into the future, informing the surgeon and patient what to expect before an incision has even been made.

 This feature appeared in the print edition on December 13, 2020.