A total knee replacement surgery is the last resort to relieve pain and restore function in knee damaged by arthritis or an injury when non-surgical treatments do not relieve the condition. The procedure involves replacing the damaged surfaces of the articulating bones with the artificial implant. Most of these implants wear with use. Thus the risk of need for revision surgery is high in young and active people if the implant has to last the lifetime of the patient. The life of the implant can be extended by precise alignment of the implant and this can be achieved by the use of computer navigation for total knee replacement surgery.
Computer navigation provides the surgeon with the real time 3-D images of the mapped patient’s knee and the surgical instruments during surgery. The data for the images is provided by the infrared sensors fixed to the bones of the knee and the surgical instruments. Their position is tracked by an infrared camera placed above the surgical table connected to the computer. The computer then generates real-time images with the help of appropriate software to guide the surgeon to precisely resurface and cut the bones of the knee and fix the implant precisely & accurately according to the pre-operative surgical plan. Thus the surgery is done by the surgeon only. Computer navigation is just a tool to guide the surgeon and improve the outcome of the surgery. It cannot replace the skills of an experienced surgeon.