Computer Assisted Surgery

Computer Assisted Surgery

Several implant companies now have computer programs that combine operating room cameras with computer program technology for assisting surgeons in decision making during total knee replacement. This principle has aided the progression to smaller incisions, and may be helpful in improving the consistency of implant placement. Using data points that are entered into the computer program on the patient’s bone anatomy, the computer creates a visual computer image of the contours of the bone. Reflectors are attached to the bone, which are recognized by the camera for live action demonstration of computer generated images. The future of computer assisted surgery is extremely promising.

Current benefits include support to the physician in various decision making points during the surgery especially in alignment and amount of bone resection. The computer is also helpful to reinforce the surgical judgment of the operating surgeon.

Computer assisted surgery is now extremely high profile in the marketing of orthopaedics. The current state of the advanced technology, and instrumentation design have lead to a very high quality result with excellent predictability and reliability, even prior to the onset of computer assisted surgery. The actual clinical benefit, as it relates to the function and life span of total knee replacement when, using the computer assisted programs, has yet to be demonstrated.

John G. Mayer, M.D.