Computer-assisted surgery as indication of choice: total knee arthroplasty in case of retained hardware or extra-articular deformity

Domenico Tigani, Gilberto Masetti, Giacomo Sabbioni, Rida Ben Ayad, Mattia Filanti, Matteo Fosco
International Orthopaedics 2012, 36 (7): 1379-85

PURPOSE: The use of traditional cutting guides during knee arthroplasty in some cases could be extremely difficult, if not impossible, because of angular deformities, IM sclerosis, long-stemmed hip implants, or hardware within the femoral canal that cannot be removed. In these difficult cases navigation-assisted knee arthroplasty should be considered as an effective and appealing option.

METHODS: We present 14 cases in which ideal mechanical and prosthetic alignment was achieved with different image-free, computer-assisted navigation systems, because of an extra-articular deformity (group A, nine patients) or because of a retained implant or hardware (group B, five patients).

RESULTS: After a mean follow-up of 28 months (range 12-53 months), the average knee score increased overall from a mean of 33 points (range 12-63) to 78 points (range 63-90). The average functional score improved from a mean of 32 points (range 10-65) to 72 points (range 40-90). The postoperative mechanical axis ranged between 3° of varus and 3° of valgus. There was an implant revision in one patient who had a traumatic rupture of medial collateral ligament, which occurred 27 months after the index procedure.

CONCLUSIONS: Based on our results we think that the navigation-assisted technique provides an alternative approach to the traditional instrumentation for treating these difficult patients in an effective and less invasive manner.

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