Computer Assisted Surgery is a new technology developed in the last few years. The early development was done in Germany and one of the pioneering company involved in the development was “Brainlab” from Germany.
Computer Assisted Knee Replacement surgery involves observation of the operating procedure by an Infrared camera. It records the position of the patient’s leg and thigh before commencing the surgery. Various bony landmarks (points) and surfaces are identified by the surgeon using the special pointer. This is also recorded in the Computer’s memory. This data is analyzed by a computer using a special software developed for this purpose. The gathered information is provided to the surgeon on the computer screen. This allows the surgeon to decide the accurate way to cut the bone and implant the new joint with 0.5 degrees or 0.5mm accuracy. The surgeon can use this information to modify its surgical procedure and decide the placement of various components of artificial knee joints.
This technology allows the surgeon to actually check the following things during the surgery even before he has cut any bones. There are also other advantages as listed below:
- The best size implant to be used for the patient’s knee can be decided.
- The best alignment of the knee which will bring the mechanic access within 0 to 0.5 degrees of normal alignment can be achieved on the table.
- Various deformities of the knee can be corrected within the accuracy of 0.5 to 1 degrees.
- The opening of the medullary cavity of bone (which is required for conventional knee replacement surgery) can be avoided. This reduces intra and post-operation blood loss. It also reduces the risk of thromboembolism caused by intramedullary insertion of alignment rods (as done in conventional operation).
- This technique also allows the surgeon to open the knee with a smaller cut and surgeon can do the surgery with the so-called “Keyhole” or “Minimally Invasive Surgery” technique.