Are MRI-based, patient matched cutting jigs as accurate as the tibial guides?

Fabio Conteduca, Raffaele Iorio, Daniele Mazza, Ludovico Caperna, Gabriele Bolle, Giuseppe Argento, Andrea Ferretti
International Orthopaedics 2012, 36 (8): 1589-93

PURPOSE: The aim of this study is to evaluate the accuracy of VISIONAIRE (Smith & Nephew Inc., Memphis, TN, USA) Patient Matched cutting tibial jigs in comparison with extramedullary (EM) tibial instrumentation by analysing data as detected by intra-operative use of VectorVision knee navigation software from BrainLAB (Redwood City, CA, USA).

METHODS: Twelve patients were selected for unilateral total knee replacement (TKR). They underwent a full-length weight-bearing anteroposterior (AP) radiograph and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). During surgery, once the EM guides were placed and fixed on the tibia, the orientation in the coronal and sagittal planes was checked by the navigator and then compared with the data obtained by measuring the orientation of VISIONAIRE Patient Matched cutting tibial jigs. An unsatisfactory result was considered an error ≥2° in both coronal and sagittal planes for the tibial component as a possible error of 4° could result.

RESULTS: In the coronal plane the mean deviation of the EM tibial guides from the ideal alignment (0°) was 0.7 ± 0.39° and of the VISIONAIRE was 129 ± 1.55° (P = 0.22). In the sagittal plane the mean deviation of the EM tibial guides from 3° of posterior slope was -1.62 ± 1.78° and of the VISIONAIRE was +1.16 ± 4.29° (P < 0.05). Negative values indicate a more posterior slope from the ideal and positive values an anterior slope.

CONCLUSIONS: This preliminary study documented only a fair accuracy of the method with a consistent risk of error of more of 3° especially in the sagittal plane. We could speculate that the problem in the sagittal plane was due to the fact that the pre-operative protocol does not include a lateral X-ray projection of the knee and only includes an AP standing X-ray of the straight leg and MRI.

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