Department of Orthopaedics, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.
Successful total knee arthroplasty is dependent on the correct alignment of implanted prostheses. Major clinical problems can be related to poor femoral component positioning, including sagittal plane and rotational malalignment. A prospective randomized study was designed to test whether an optical navigation system for total knee arthroplasty achieved greater implantation precision than a nonnavigated technique. The primary variable was rotation of the femoral component in the transverse plane, measured from postoperative radiographs and computed tomography images. Sixty-four patients were included in the study. All patients received the Duracon total knee prosthesis. The patients were randomly divided into two groups: Group C patients had conventional total knee arthroplasty without navigation; Group N patients had total knee arthroplasty using a computer-assisted knee navigation system. Analysis showed that patients in Group N had significantly better rotational alignment and flexion angle of the femoral component than patients in Group C. In addition, superior postoperative alignment of the mechanical axis, posterior tibial slope, and rotational alignment was achieved for patients in Group N. The use of a navigation system provides improved alignment accuracy, and can help to avoid femoral malrotation and errors in axial alignment.
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