Testing of a novel pin array guide for accurate three-dimensional glenoid component positioning

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22 Scopus citations


Background: A substantial challenge in total shoulder replacement is accurate positioning and alignment of the glenoid component. This challenge arises from limited intraoperative exposure and complex arthritic-driven deformity. We describe a novel pin array guide and method for patient-specific guiding of the glenoid central drill hole. We also experimentally tested the hypothesis that this method would reduce errors in version and inclination compared with 2 traditional methods. Methods: Polymer models of glenoids were created from computed tomography scans from 9 arthritic patients. Each 3-dimensional (3D) printed scapula was shrouded to simulate the operative situation. Three different methods for central drill alignment were tested, all with the target orientation of 5° retroversion and 0° inclination: no assistance, assistance by preoperative 3D imaging, and assistance by the pin array guide. Version and inclination errors of the drill line were compared. Results: Version errors using the pin array guide (3° ± 2°) were significantly lower than version errors associated with no assistance (9° ± 7°) and preoperative 3D imaging (8° ± 6°). Inclination errors were also significantly lower using the pin array guide compared with no assistance. Discussion and conclusion: The new pin array guide substantially reduced errors in orientation of the central drill line. The guide method is patient specific but does not require rapid prototyping and instead uses adjustments to an array of pins based on automated software calculations. This method may ultimately provide a cost-effective solution enabling surgeons to obtain accurate orientation of the glenoid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1939-1947
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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