Sterling Ridge Orthopedics takes surgery to next level with Texas’ first augmented reality procedure

By: Sean K. Thompson
| Published 06/07/2024


THE WOODLANDS, TX – With nearly twenty years of heading up Sterling Ridge Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, Dr. Paul Chin, MD, PhD, FAAOS, FAANA, could be considered as someone who has ‘seen and done it all’ in the field of orthopedic surgery. Instead, he ended up making history by being the first in Texas – and one of the first in the nation – to use augmented reality for a shoulder replacement surgery.

Dr. Paul Chin first surgeon in Texas to use Medacta's NextAR Shoulder Augmented Reality Surgical Platform.

Chin was first introduced to Medacta’s NextAR Shoulder Augmented Reality Surgical Platform around eight months ago and spent considerable time in Chicago training to use the system. When he deemed himself ready, he brought it into the operating room at CHA Tomball for a shoulder replacement surgery, a complex procedure to relieve pain and restore function to shoulders damaged by arthritis, severe fractures, or other debilitating conditions.

The innovative method enhances surgical accuracy with the goal to significantly advance patient outcomes through the use of real-time updates, sensory assistance, and feedback using a Google Glass-type eyewear system.

“In Switzerland, this system has been used in thousands of shoulder replacements and other surgeries,” said Dr. Chin. “Traditionally, our preoperative planning models are worked out in great detail beforehand. But now I can take my pre-op plan into the operating room. Instead of working on a plan a week before bringing it into the OR, I have instant access to updates and feedback.”

Dr. Chin's accomplishment underscores Sterling Ridge Orthopedics & Sports Medicine's position as a leader in orthopedic innovation. By harnessing the power of NextAR technology, the clinic continues to redefine standards in orthopaedic surgery, ultimately improving patient outcomes and quality of life.

This latest advancement comes as Sterling Ridge prepares to celebrate its 20th anniversary. “As orthopedic surgeons, we’re in the hands-on business,” said Dr. Chin. “What’s neat is we’re always striving to do better, and there are always ways to achieve this. If we’re not working to improve, then we’re just standing still.”

Dr. Chin had great kudos for his team that worked with him in the vanguard surgery. “Our entire team are always working to be the best, and that leads to our reputation of treating patients like family.”

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