Computers Help Surgeon's Navigate Knee SurgeryImproved technology is expanding the role of computers in the operating room. In this study surgeons report on the use of computers to help put in knee joint replacements.
Fifteen unilateral knee arthroplasties (UKAs) were done using computers to help the surgeon. Fifteen UKAs were done "the old fashioned way" without the use of a computer. All UKAs were done using very small incisions called minimally invasive surgery (MIS).
Only the inside half of the knee joint was replaced, which is why it's called a unilateral joint replacement. The navigation system uses an infrared camera to find and keep track of joint position and angles. In this way the implant can be put in while keeping the hip, knee, and ankle all lined up.
The idea is to prevent overcorrecting the knee joint. Getting as close to normal will help restore function. It will also prevent breakdown of the new joint. In this study, the 15 UKAs done with computer-assisted navigation had better alignment than those done without computers.
The author's conclude that with today's smaller incisions, surgeons aided by computer navigation get more accurate joint alignment when doing UKAs.
Andrew J. Cossey, MBBS, FRCS, and Anthony J. Spriggins, MBBS, FRACS, FRCS, FAorth. The Use of Computer-Assisted Surgical Navigation to Prevent Malalignment in Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty. In The Journal of Arthroplasty. January 2005. Vol. 20. No. 1. Pp. 29-34.
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