Computer assistance provides orthopedic surgeons in-OR navigational guidance when aligning joint implants, further enhancing the precise placement of the replacement joint. Contact Dr. Kruse for more information regarding this surgical innovation »
Joint replacement surgery involves the removal of a damaged joint and replacing it with an orthopedic implant. Whether it is for a hip or knee, orthopedic implants are designed to replicate the feel and function of a natural joint. Since being introduced to the United States more than fifty years ago, joint replacement surgery has grown by leaps and bounds through technological innovations that improve accuracy of implant placement, improve alignment of components, and utilize less invasive approaches.
Computer-assisted surgery refers to the use of computerized technology to assist in operative planning and performance of orthopedic surgery. These programs operate much like a GPS system for the operating room, and help the surgeons execute operations in a very precise manner. While it is not necessary for all orthopedic surgeries, computer-assisted surgery provides potential benefits beyond traditional surgery, including an additional level of precision and reliability to the procedure.
Potential benefits of computer-assisted surgery are similar to those of minimally invasive surgery, and may include: reduced joint wear and extended implant lifespan, shorter post-operative recovery period, smaller incision and less noticeable scarring, and less blood loss during surgery, leading to a less painful recovery.
Precise Orthopedic Surgery
Computer-assisted surgery is an innovation in orthopedics that allows a surgeon to perform joint replacement surgery for the hip or knee with the aid of computer imaging and navigation technology. Navigation systems help surgeons plan the procedure before surgery, provide comprehensive information about a patient’s joint during surgery, and give visual and statistical feedback to aid in the alignment of components during surgery. Computer-assisted surgery is often likened to a GPS for surgeons in the way it enables surgeons to see inside the patient’s body as they operate.
Computer-Assisted Knee Surgery
Knee replacement surgery, a solution for patients experiencing osteoarthritis, can be performed with the aid of computer technology in a way that potentially improves results and post-operative recovery. During a knee replacement surgery procedure, the surgeon will remove the damaged joint and replace it with a prosthetic implant that imitates the function of a natural knee. Computer-aided techniques allow for more precise alignment of knee implants, resulting in a more natural feel. Through the use of infrared imaging, digitized bone images, and tracking devices, the computer hardware provides the orthopedic surgeon with information about the patient’s anatomy that improves the precision of implant placement.
Computer-Assisted Hip Surgery
Hip replacement surgery can be performed with the use of computers and robotic arms that enhance the precision and reliability of surgery. During a traditional hip replacement surgery, the surgeon will remove the 'ball' end of the femur (thighbone) and replace it with a prosthetic component, held in place by a rod that fits within the femoral neck. For computer-assisted hip surgery procedures, the system guides contoured cuts to bone that allow for a precise implant fitting that is otherwise difficult to accomplish. Computer-assisted hip surgery allows surgeons to sculpt the hip bones in a manner that allows an implant to fit more naturally. Additionally, this improved precision leads to more durable results, faster recovery, and a potentially improved quality of life.
Twin Cities Computer-Assisted Surgery
Dr. Jay Kruse is a Board-certified orthopedic surgeon and serves as Medical Director of Orthopedic Surgery at both the Unity and Mercy Hospitals. Dr. Kruse frequently attends orthopedic courses and seminars to learn new and innovative technologies, including computer-assisted surgery, which aim to deliver improved results for patients suffering from joint pain. To learn more about computer-assisted surgery for joint replacement, schedule an appointment with Dr. Kruse at his offices in Coon Rapids or Fridley, MN.