The primary objective of the present study was to investigate how preoperative imaging modalities including 3D computed tomography (CT) scans with preoperative planning software affect implant choice for shoulder arthroplasty.

X-ray, uncorrected 2D CT scans, and 3D CT scans from 21 patients undergoing primary arthroplasty were reviewed by five shoulder surgeons. Each surgeon measured glenoid version, inclination and humeral head subluxation, and then selected an anatomic or reverse shoulder arthroplasty implant based only on these imaging parameters. Each surgeon virtually positioned the implant. Agreement between surgeons and changes in plan for individual surgeons between imaging modalities were assessed.

Average measurements of native version, inclination, and subluxation were similar across all imaging modalities with very good interobserver reliability. Overall, there was a high rate of variability in choice of implant depending on imaging modality. Agreement on implant selection between surgeons improved from 68.6% using x-ray to 80.0% with 3D CT. Introducing age added significant variability, reducing agreement on implant choice to 61.0% with 3D CT.

The use of preoperative 3D planning changes implant choice in nearly one-third of cases compared to plain radiographs and improves surgeon agreement on implant choice compared to x-ray and 2D CT.Level of evidence: III.

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