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Developing shoulder musculoskeletal modeling and Machine-Learning methods to enable biomechanics informed patient-specific surgical planning

Musculoskeletal modeling allows researchers and clinicians to gain an improved understanding of joint biomechanics and the effects of interventions like shoulder joint replacement. Incorporating patient-specific factors further improves the accuracy of models but the creation of these models can be cumbersome. As well, by coupling patient-specific modeling with machine learning, we can achieve greatly improved patient outcomes. This research forms the greatest focus of our lab's endeavours.

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Using computational techniques to investigate and optimize joint replacement implants

Computational research methods allow for many parameters to be independently varied to see their effects using a single model geometry. The image to the left shows a 3-D scapula model being generated from CT scans, a critical step in the computational modelling process. We are currently working on several projects related to finite element analysis, statistical shape models, and musculoskeletal kinematic and dynamic modelling. 

Design of novel tools and techniques for orthopaedic surgery


Collaborating with clinicians on the front lines of patient care, we work to develop new tools and techniques to improve orthopaedic procedures. This video shows a new minimally invasive (MI) technique for anatomic total shoulder arthroplasty and the accompanying tools. This procedure leads to comparable accuracy to conventional procedures but decreases post operative complication rate & patient recovery time.

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Experimentally investigating the biomechanics of competing surgical procedures


Evaluating different procedures with systems like the mechatronic system below can lead to significant changes in clinical practice. For example, using the system above it was determined that the Bristow & Latarjet procedures (pictured to the left), long thought of as synonymous ways to treat anterior shoulder instability, are not in fact equivalent, with one being superior to the other. 

Development of advanced hybrid mechatronic-cadaveric testing systems


Before proceeding from the lab to the clinic, it's important for new surgical procedures to be fully and rigorously validated. This has lead to the development of systems such as the one in the video that simulate joint kinematics & dynamics on cadaveric samples. Using these systems we are able to accurately reproduce in-vivo shoulder movements and loading, and quantitatively evaluate different procedures and prosthetics.

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Developing clinician training technologies


Evaluating injury status based on how a joint responds to manually applied loading is common in orthopaedics, and this is a skill that takes time to develop. To help residents acquire this skill faster, we develop technologies like that in the left image. Not only does this allow clinicians to train regularly without the need for a patient, it also allows them to gain a feeling for injuries they may not see regularly in the clinic by a simple change in parameters.

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