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Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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I've heard there's a surgeon in town who does her patients' total knee replacements (TKRs) using a computer. I'm totally into technology but what's the advantage of this approach? Is it faster? More accurate?

Computer-assisted surgery is not the gold standard approach for TKRs yet. There is still much that needs to be studied and compared between the open incision method (the current gold standard) and what can be done using today's technology.

Computer navigation can help insure a better match between the joint and the implant size. It can also analyze joint angles measured on X-ray to find the best placement for the implant.

Poor alignment due to suboptimal implant positioning can lead to uneven wear and tear on the implant. This can cause the implant to loosen and ultimately fail. An unstable joint would likely require additional surgery.

Computer-assisted TKR is fairly new. It's not available everywhere. A fair amount of training, skill, and expertise are required in order to use this approach. But it can speed up the patient's rate of recovery.

With less blood loss, there are also fewer postoperative problems. Fewer muscles are cut so there's less pain and less need for pain medication. You can be up and walking the next day.

By the end of the month, many patients who have had this type of surgery are walking independently. They no longer need a walker or crutches. And they can walk for more than 30 minutes.


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