Computer Navigation for Total Knee Replacement

What is Total Knee Replacement?

A total knee replacement surgery involves replacing the damaged surfaces of the articulating bones with the artificial implant. Most of these implants wear with use. Thus, the risk of need for revision surgery is high in young and active people if the implant must last the lifetime of the patient. It is often theorised that the life of the implant can be extended by precise alignment of the implant. Computer navigation for total knee replacement surgery improves the accuracy of implant position. The navigation also allows determination of the natural kinematics of the knee, allowing ths surgeon the ability to match the implanted kinematics with the patient’s natural kinematics. It is this ability which is theorised to improve the function and normal feel within the knee replacement.

Indications for Total Knee Replacement

A total knee replacement surgery is the last resort to relieve pain and restore function in knee damaged by arthritis or an injury when non-surgical treatments do not relieve the condition.

Computer Navigation for Total Knee Replacement

Computer-navigation provides your surgeon with real time 3-D images of your mapped knee and the surgical instruments during surgery. The data for the images is provided by the infrared sensors fixed to the bones of the knee and the surgical instruments. Their position is tracked by an infrared camera placed above the surgical table connected to the computer. The computer than generates the real-time images with the help of the appropriate software to guide the surgeon to precisely resurface and cut the bones of the knee and fix the implant precisely and accurately according to the pre-operative surgical plan.

Thus, the surgery is done by the surgeon only. Computer navigation is just a tool to guide the surgeon and improve the outcome of the surgery. It cannot replace the skills of an experienced surgeon.