We were involved in a study comparing computer assisted knee replacement with total knee arthroplasty using traditional instruments for alignment and implant placement. This was conducted in 2006 and 2007 and results were presented at the International Association of Computer Assisted Surgery. While this study found that computer assisted techniques were safe and reliable and did improve alignment of the tibial cut, the overall success rate was no different in the short-term. Of note, use of computer assisted technology in that format increased the length of the operation by roughly 10 minutes. Evolution of computer assisted techniques has occurred and now a different form of computer assisted technology is available.
We are currently enrolling patients for a study comparing the use of custom cutting guides that are made from preoperative CT scans of the patient’s leg. Computer technology is then used to create a custom distal femoral or thigh bone cutting guide and a proximal tibial or shin bone cutting guide. These are applied to the patients bone at the time of surgery and cuts are made directly off these custom cutting guides. The operation is thereafter done in a routine fashion, balancing soft tissue and confirming alignment. The same implants are used as in traditional knee replacement, the difference being the use of custom cutting guides that are fashioned from preoperative CT scans. It is felt that this type of technology will actually shorten the duration of the operation while maintaining or improving quality, based on alignment and implant position. As one of several centers involved in this study we are excited about the possibility of this as far as enhancing the patient’s surgical outcome.
If you would like more information regarding this you can contact our office.