Two leading orthopaedic surgeons – from US and Brisbane - rub shoulders

Dr Kelly MacgroartyA visiting orthopaedic surgeon ranked as one of the best in the US literally rubbed shoulders with Brisbane orthopaedic surgeon Dr Kelly MacGroarty, observing total shoulder replacement surgeries performed at St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital.
Professor Michael Wirth, from San Antonio, Texas watched Dr MacGroarty carry out total shoulder replacement surgeries using a new modular shoulder replacement system which Prof Wirth helped design.

Earlier this year Dr MacGroarty (pictured on the left) became the first orthopaedic surgeon in Australia to undertake surgery using the new Global Unite Anatomic shoulder prosthesis.

Dr MacGroarty said that the new system allowed for the replacement of the shoulder joint in a simpler and more efficient manner.

“The same device can be used to internally fix shoulder fractures or perform an anatomic total shoulder replacement,” Dr MacGroarty said. “In addition, for those patients who later need a reverse total shoulder replacement, surgeons are able to convert the already implanted device in a way that gives improved motion in the shoulder after the patient has recovered.

“The majority of patients requiring this type of shoulder surgery have severe osteoarthritis in the shoulder. It is also very useful for patients with rotator cuff tears, severe fractures and other shoulder conditions,” he said.

Dr MacGroarty said that although shoulder joint replacement is less common than knee or hip replacement, it was just as successful in relieving joint pain.

Prof Wirth has been ranked in the top 1 per cent in the United States as a shoulder specialist by US News and World Report.

Prof Wirth said it was a great honour to visit and assist in the three surgeries with Dr MacGroarty.