Computer navigation in total knee replacement is the recently developed technique that attempts to correct some of the limitations of traditional procedure like inaccurate placement of the knee implant. An inaccurately placed or misaligned implant reduces the longevity of new knee due to early loosening, early wear & tear and poor functioning. In traditional procedure, the only way to check the accuracy of implanted prosthesis is post-operative x-ray. But this is quite late as the re-alignment will require another surgery. So to fix this problem, total replacement assisted with computer navigation is the best option.
Total knee replacement procedure when assisted with computer navigation allows the operating surgeon to accurately check and adjust each step during the replacement surgery. It helps the surgeon to optimally position the implant in the knee joint and improve its alignment as compared to non-navigated total knee arthroplasty.
Computer navigated knee replacement is done using computer, infra red camera and some other instruments that reflect the light back to the camera. This whole setting creates an image of the knee joint during procedure and helps in co-ordination of reference points on natural knee to that on implant. This facilitates fine adjustment and positioning of the new knee that will function optimally with the bones, muscle, ligaments, and other structures around them.
The procedure is less invasive as it requires two very small incisions over the shin bone. Pins are inserted into the bones that are later removed after the replacement of knee. The procedure is fully controlled by surgeon and he can use computer whenever required.