Computer-assisted surgery helps surgeons align the patient's bones and joint implants with a degree of accuracy not possible with the naked eye. The computers also help doctors who use smaller incisions instead of the traditional larger openings. Small-incision surgery, most often referred to as minimally invasive surgery, offers the potential for faster recovery, less bleeding and less pain for patients. "Instead of guessing where the mechanical axis or points of reference are, the computer tells us , accurately where they are, and it's accurate to within one or two degrees Much like the tread life of tires is prolonged by a wheel alignment, exact alignment of a knee replacement assures the maximum longevity of a total knee replacement. Longer lasting knee replacement Computer assisted knee surgery helps surgeons precisely align the artificial joint in the bone. This increases the long term effectiveness of the knee replacement because there is no guessing. Before the surgery, a model is developed using an instrument that outlines the contour of the knee. An infrared camera reads signals from the instrument. The computer then develops a model of the knee. This image is projected onto a monitor and helps guide the surgeon's artificial implant to the bone. Computer Navigation
The computer-assisted knee surgery eliminates the need for a rod that is inserted up the length of the femur. Previously, the rod was used to determine proper knee implant alignment in relation to the hip joint. Now, this data is generated by the computer. Because of this, patients have a reduced risk of fat embolism. That is important because if fat travels through the blood stream, it can become lodged in the heart or brain and cause heart failure, dementia or stroke. Furthermore, the quality and accuracy of the virtual image provided by the computer enables smaller incisions while still achieving the same successful outcome.
Due to the smaller incisions, a faster surgery is possible. It also takes less time to recover, which shortens a patient's hospital stay. Physical therapy time is reduced because of the precise incisions the surgeon can make. The new, computer-assisted surgery can last for up to 30 years without the need for another replacement.