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Computer-assisted knee replacement surgery

Advanced computer technology to guide your surgeon during knee replacement surgery

Doctor examining a patient's knee joint after his computer-assisted knee replacement surgery procedure
Computer-assisted navigation is technology that can guide surgeons as they perform joint replacement operations. The computer navigation machine allows your surgeon to digitally monitor each step of the surgery on a screen. The position of individual bones is tracked in a 3D space with real-time infra-red wave communication.

Computer-assisted navigation can be used as an aid when performing total knee replacement surgery as well as other joint replacement operations. The technology offers potential benefits over traditional surgery including better outcomes and a reduced risk of needing revision knee surgery.

It's important to stress that computer navigation acts as a guide for the surgeon - it's not the same as robotic surgery, where the computer helps control the movements made by the surgical instruments. The computer has no control over the operation itself, it simply gives your surgeon more precise insights into what's happening.

If you are interested in choosing computer-assisted knee surgery, give us a call or book online for a consultation with one of our experienced consultants near you.

How does computer-assisted navigation work?

It's essentially a 'mini GPS system' used by the surgeon during a knee replacement, which uses infra-red technology identify the correct alignment for the components in the knee joint. It allows the surgeon to create and execute a surgical plan that will lead to minimal tissue disruption and less bone removal.

The potential benefits of computer-assisted knee replacement surgery over traditional knee replacement surgery stem from the potential for increased accuracy during the procedure.

Orthopaedic and Trauma Consultant Mr Reza Jenabzedeh explains:

"Computer navigated surgery improves the precision of implant placement, alignment, soft tissue balancing and restoring mechanical axis of the lower limb. This can give an improved functional result for the patient. It can also enhance surgical performance and help reduce errors.

"Your consultant surgeon will be able to make precise individualised cuts in bones and position the prosthesis in the desired position. Any adjustments can be done during surgery, as opposed to conventional surgery where the objective measurements are on post-op evaluation.

"Another benefit is that the cuts are individually catered to the specific anatomy and needs of each individual patient. This can also reduce blood loss and embolic complications."

So, the computer navigation may allow your surgeon to place your new knee more accurately, and can help to reduce unnecessary damage to the tissues in and around the joint during surgery.

The main benefits you could experience as a result of this are:

  • Better function in your knee
  • Reduced risk of revision surgery
  • Reduced risk of outliers (incorrect positioning)
  • Reduced risk of fat embolus and blood loss in knee surgery
  • Reduced incision size and soft tissue damage

Your consultant surgeon will explain all the potential risks as well as the benefits with you before you agree to surgery. We always want you to be as informed and involved as possible.

A knee replacement is a common and very successful operation, with or without the aid of computer navigation. The technology simply enhances the precision available to the surgeon, supporting their existing skills.

So, if you could benefit from a knee replacement, it's very possible that you could benefit from computer-assisted knee surgery. Mr Jenabzedeh believes this is particularly true in "complex cases, such as severe deformity, obesity, or previous long bone fractures."

If you would like to know more about the benefits of computer-assisted navigation total knee replacement surgery, book an appointment online with one of the knee surgeons listed below, or give us a call to speak to one of our advisors directly.

We don't offer this type of knee surgery at every one of our 50+ hospitals, but many of our patients do travel from further afield in order to receive specific treatments or to be treated by a specific consultant. So even if our private hospital near you doesn't offer this technology, you will be very welcome to visit us at any location that does.

Whether you have been told by your GP that you need a knee replacement or are still at the point of considering your treatment options, your journey with Circle Health Group will start with an initial consultation with one of our specialists, usually a knee surgeon.

Your consultant surgeon will start by taking a detailed medical history, and they will ask lots and lots of questions in order to get to know you and your symptoms. We don't believe in one-size-fits-all healthcare, so we try to get to know every person we see as best we possibly can.

You will probably also have a short physical examination, often of your legs and hips as well as your knee, and your consultant might ask you to go through certain movements so they can judge your mobility.

Then you will likely be sent for scans such as an X-ray or an MRI scan. All our hospitals have onsite imaging departments so this will be done at the same hospital, though sometimes you'll have to come back another day to have the scan.

Once we've analysed the results, your consultant will make a diagnosis of the cause and the extent of your knee problems, and they will start building a treatment plan bespoke to your needs. If computer-assisted surgery is something you would like to explore, they will talk you through the pros and cons and let you know whether it's the right choice for you.

Computer-assisted navigation total knee replacement surgery works in much the same way as any other knee replacement operation. The main difference is that your surgeon will be using the navigation technology throughout as a guide to make sure they're being as precise as possible.

You will either be given a general anaesthetic, meaning you'll be asleep the whole time, or a spinal anaesthetic, which numbs you from the waist down. A spinal anaesthetic is often accompanied by some form of sedation so that you are relaxed and don't find the experience upsetting.

The operation is performed using open surgery, and your consultant will start by making an incision into your knee to access the joint. The damaged parts will be removed and replaced with an implant, also known as an artificial knee or a prosthesis.

They will then test how your new knee moves and make any adjustments necessary before closing the wound with stitches.

After surgery, you'll be monitored for a while to check everything is ok, before being taken to the ward to start your recovery.

Recovery should be no different to traditional surgery. You will start walking with the aid of crutches or a frame the day after surgery and you'll need to use a walking aid for anything up to six weeks.

You'll find lots more information on recovering from surgery on our knee replacement page.

When you choose to go private with Circle Health Group, you can expect:

  • Flexible appointment times and locations to suit your routine
  • The freedom to choose which hospital and consultant fits your needs
  • Personalised, consultant-led treatment plans tailored to your specific requirements
  • Comfortable and safe private facilities maintained by expert multidisciplinary teams
  • Private cosy ensuite rooms as standard and delicious healthy meals
  • Affordable, fixed-price packages with aftercare included
  • Flexible payment options to help you spread the cost of your care

If you would like to learn more about knee surgery, book your appointment online today or call a member of our team directly.

Specialists offering Computer-assisted knee replacement surgery

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