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Combining Orthopaedics, Computer Science, and Engineering to Improve Hip Replacement Outcomes

February 01, 2022

For patients undergoing a total hip replacement, one of the risks is hip dislocation. This occurs in approximately 25,000 patients in the U.S. per year with associated treatment costs exceeding $500 million annually. Hip dislocation is often related to the orientation of the implant, which ultimately determines a patient’s overall range of motion. Dislocation will occur if a patient’s daily activities—such as squatting, bending, or twisting— go beyond the limits of the new prosthetic’s range of motion and can lead to further complications.

Aidin Eslam Pour, MD, has recently been awarded a grant from the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) that will allow him to develop computer models for personalized surgical planning to help mitigate the risk of hip dislocation following total hip replacement.

Eslam Pour, assistant professor in the Department of Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation, splits his time between research and serving in a clinical capacity at Connecticut’s VA Hospital. His research currently involves working on simulations and models, which will eventually expand into the area of artificial intelligence. The journey however has been years in the making and the future appears promising.

In 2019, Eslam Pour became one of fewer than 10 orthopaedic surgeons in the country to receive a NIH K08 Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award. This award provides MDs with salary and research support for three to five years to support didactic study and/or mentored research in the fields of biomedical and behavioral research, including translational research.

The OREF grant will help Eslam Pour define the best prosthetic range of motion in different functional positions. Additionally, by using imaging technology and 3D modeling, he will validate personalized functional “safe zones” or the safe range of movement when factoring in daily activities, pelvic tilt, and hip alignment. According to Eslam Pour, the personalized safe zone and operative plan should benefit thousands of patients and save millions of health care dollars by reducing costly instances of hip dislocation after total hip replacements.

“Health care is moving rapidly toward personalized medicine,” Eslam Pour said. “Whether someone has neuromuscular conditions, posture problems, spine issues and so on, every single person has a unique anatomy with individualized motion patters and functions. This is why surgical procedures are beginning to be tailored specifically to each patient and their individualized anatomical structure.”

At Yale, the convergence of orthopaedics, engineering, and computer science generate tangible results and patient-specific outcomes. According to Eslam Pour, this is why Yale is proving to be a highly desired destination for perioperative planning and patient management.

“The cliché that one size fits all is not at all how modern medicine works,” Elam Pour continued. “Our goal is to fully understand the patient and plan our care based on specific needs, the long term goals of the patient, and achievable outcomes. The more we understand each patient and their individual anatomy, the more of a comprehensive plan we can develop. These computer models I am creating through this funded research will help further the personalization of patient-centered care.”

Submitted by John Ready on December 21, 2021