Computer-Assisted Navigation in Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA)

March 03, 2015

Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA) is a clinically successful and cost-effective treatment designed to improve a patient’s quality of life after a full knee replacement. However, patients today have higher expectations from their knee replacement treatments, including relief from pain, straight legs without any unnatural curve, and fully-restored ability to bend the knee and walk. In addition, patients want to be able to perform all of their routine daily activities quickly without any limitations after they have undergone a knee replacement. Most importantly, patients expect the replacement knee to last for the rest of their lives without the need for any further surgery. 

In some cases, however, patients continue to experience pain after their knee replacement surgery and require corrective surgery. The most common problems are caused by improper positioning or alignment of the implants during the surgery resulting in patients having a restricted or inadequate range of motion in the artificial joint. This leads to the knee joint being stiff with the patient unable to bend or extend the knee fully. An unstable prosthetic knee can also prevent the patient from being able to walk properly or will cause pain while walking due to a loosening of the component. Even though knee replacement surgery is performed by a specialist, it is a very difficult procedure and the implants can be improperly aligned in approximately 20-30% of the cases.
Computer-assisted navigation surgery has been performed in orthopedic procedures for more than 10 years. It has been proven that computer-assisted surgery leads to better prosthetic alignment and a higher degree of accuracy than can be achieved from traditional surgery with standard instruments. According to research, total knee arthroplasty performed with computer-assisted navigation achieved accurate implant alignment in 94% of the cases, compared with 78% in the conventional group. 
Computer-assisted navigation has been developed to assist and enhance total knee arthroplasty procedures by improving the accuracy of joint alignment, extending the life of the implants, increasing the accuracy of soft tissue balance during surgery, and creating a more natural-feeling prosthetic knee.  

Total Knee Arthroplasty Surgical Navigation Tool

With the surgical navigation technology, the surgeon uses wireless trackers to send information about the patient’s knee anatomy to the system’s computer during the surgery. The computer produces a 3-dimensional model of the knee joint in real time during the surgery, enabling the surgeon to accurately remove damaged bone surfaces and make a precise implant placement based on the detailed data from the computer. The surgeon can evaluate the precision of the placement at the time of the surgery as the trackers send joint movement data to the system’s computer for data processing to provide real time evaluation. 
This computer-assisted navigation technology can prevent or reduce improper joint alignment, extend the life of the implants, achieve an accurate soft tissue balance, and enable the patient to use the artificial joint properly and naturally after the procedure.
If you are experiencing joint pain in your knee, you do not need to suffer any longer. Contact our experienced team of specialists at the Joint Center of Bumrungrad to discuss the best course of treatment for you, including both non-surgical and surgical options.
By  Joint Replacement Center of Bumrungrad International Hospital 
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