Computer assisted surgery is a revolutionary medical technology which offers surgeons the proficiency to operate with advanced visualization resulting in better outcomes in surgical procedures.
Computer assisted surgery is often referred to as the surgical navigation due to the fact that it works much like GPS navigation system used in an automobiles and then enables the surgeon to trace the location of the surgical instruments and implants relative to the anatomy of the patient's body in real time. Surgical navigation is the leading edge medial technology that was first introduced and implemented for the neurosurgical procedures wherein every millimetre matters and surgical precision stands extremely important, but now it is being used in orthopedics, spine, ENT, and trauma surgeries as well.
Computer navigation technology is currently being practiced extensively by the best orthopedic surgeons for knee replacement and hip replacement surgeries for best results.
Hip replacement surgery, also called total hip arthroplasty, entailing replacement diseased hip joint with a man made biocompatible artificial joint, called prosthesis, made of metal or ceramic to help the patient suffering from hip pain and instability caused by degenerative joint disease like osteoarthritis and other conditions like hip joint deformity, avascular necrosis, traumatic or sports injury, Paget's disease etc.
Hip replacement surgery with navigation technology is minimally invasive procedure that warrants the precise configuration / alignment of the components of the hip implant which is of utmost importance for the efficient functioning of the new hip joint and making it hip last longer.
Total Hip Replacement surgery is done in the hands of the most eminent and internationally trained orthopedic and is recommended as the golden standards for the patient with advanced hip arthritis and deformed hip composition. It involves the replacement of the damaged and worn out hip joint structures with the artificial hip implants known as prosthesis. The prosthesis consistors of
- A cup- which replaces the acetabulum (hip socket)
- A metal stem (femoral stem) – which replace the neck of the femur (thighbone)
- A ball (metal or ceramic) – which replaces the head of the femur.
The ultimate goal of the surgery is to alleviate pain and enhance the mobility and function of the joint by allowing the smooth and frictionless movement at the hip joint.
The chief premise for the computer navigation for hip replacement surgery is the specialized computer software that creates a virtual 3D model of the anatomy of the patient's hip joint which serves as the digital blueprint and roadmap to aid surgeon with the planning the surgery. The monitoring system of the computer assisted surgery technology for the hip replacement surgery comprise of the;
- An infrared navigation camera
- Smart instruments with the light emitting diode technology (LED) and
- A computer with specialized navigation software for surgery
During the procedure, the surgeon makes the leg of the patient to move in different movements and using the smart instrument marks the anatomical landmarks of the hip. The navigation camera then tracks the position and motion of the smart instrument and transmits the information to the computer. The Navigation software in the computer uses this information to create the virtual 3D replica of the hip joint which helps the surgeon with the information complying the measurements, angles and lines of the anatomy of the patient's hip and instantaneously exhibits the precise location of the implant and the smart instruments relative to the framework of the patient's body.
Computer navigation is not meant to replace the dexterity of the surgeon, but it offers them complete perspective and insight of the distinct anatomy and kinematics of the patient's joint that facilitates the accurate placement of the hip implants, which is otherwise inaccessible with traditional and mechanical devices . This new advance technology has proved efficient in improving the skills of the surgeon to make fine tuning and corrections within fraction of degree while fixing the artificial implants. The precise alignment of the new joint offers better stability and range of motion essential for the successful hip replacement.
Beside this, surgical navigation has armed the orthopedic surgeons with the potential to rectify any misalignment during the surgery by providing the feedback while assessing for the joint's stability, range of motion, and leg length all in real time. In addition, this computer assisted hip replacement surgery offers the patient advantages that includes;
- Optimal implant fitting with fine adjustment that abets to extend the implant life
- Smaller incisions, minimal muscle disruption, early recovery due to reduced rehabilitation period making this procedure less invasive.
- Offers better visualization of the structures and anatomy which is predominately essential in minimally invasive procedures.
- Provides instantaneous feedback to the surgeons on the precise location of the implant and bids the potential to rectify any errors during the surgery.