QUT Joint Biomechanics ARC Training Centre postdoctoral fellow Dr Maxence Lavaill has received an Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowship aimed at improving shoulder joint surgery.  

The A$160,000 ($103,402) grant, provided in collaboration with industry partner Stryker, will support the development of a new in-silico musculoskeletal simulation tool designed to enhance outcomes for shoulder joint surgery.

Lavaill said that at least 2,000 total shoulder replacements were performed in 2023 in Queensland alone.

Lavaill added: “Shoulder implant surgery records the largest failure rate amongst all human joints – 15% of patients have to return to theatre after failure of their shoulder implant, whereas hip joint replacement revisions are at 5%.

“This revision rate causes negative effects on patients’ health and high social and economic impacts. Shoulder function is driven largely by joint forces exerted through muscle contractions.”

Dr Lavaill’s project focuses on reducing the revision rates with the development of an automated, holistic approach to planning shoulder surgery. This innovative method will take into account the patient’s specific muscle function along with their bone structure.

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Lavaill added: “Central to this approach is the development of cutting-edge, musculoskeletal models validated using instrumented-implant data from patients who have undergone shoulder implant surgery.”

These models are expected to help test implant designs and assess their performance in restoring patient function.

“Thanks to the collaboration between Stryker and ARC Training Centre for Joint Biomechanics, the developed models will assist the company to produce the next generation of surgical planning software on a sound and evidence-based simulation-driven design for shoulders,” Lavaill said.

“This will ultimately enhance the implant’s performance and longevity as well as improve patients’ quality of life,” he added.