Computer-assisted total knee replacement is a fairly new procedure and is technically demanding for the surgeon.
New computer-assisted navigation allows highly trained orthopedic surgeons to achieve precise positioning, sizing and alignment during the procedure.
That accuracy was difficult to achieve in the past because each person's body is unique. A person's face has things in common with most other faces, but there are countless small differences that make that face function and look like one person and no one else. Knees are like that, too, although the differences may not seem as apparent.
Computer Navigated Total Knee Replacement (TKR) ensures that knee components are placed in perfect alignment with the normal knee axis to ensure a lifetime of trouble-free performance. It also enables us to make bony cuts with zero degree error and enables us to do soft tissue balancing of the knee, so that all the ligaments are in even tension.
With today's computer technology, there is no guesswork. Doctors can see in real time the mechanical axis of the leg which is unique to each individual. It allows them to map your anatomy and customize the surgery. By constantly referring to the mechanical axis and the patient's unique anatomy, they are able to position and balance the knee more accurately.
This process usually enables them to get the knee positioned perfectly on the first try, as opposed to previous techniques, which often required several "trials." This proper positioning should allow the maximum life of the implant to be achieved. Improper positioning of the knee replacement will lead to rapid failure and is the number one reason for an early revision surgery.
The instruments used in computer-assisted total knee replacement are much smaller than those used with traditional methods. They allow the surgeon to use a minimally-invasive procedure that shortens the recovery period.
The length of the knee incision depends on the body characteristics of the patient, and, while it is a very visible component of the procedure, it is not the most significant. The essential element is the delicate process of replacing the joint.