You are right that computer-guided joint replacement has recently been introduced. And as always with new and improved technology, the costs do go up.
But in this case, the cost of less invasive reconstructive surgery may be well worth it. First of all, improved implant alignment of total knee replacements are possible with computer-guided systems.
Accuracy is important because any imbalance can lead to uneven wear and tear on the implant. And that can mean more pain and loss of function for the patient. Decreased quality of life may add insult to injury.
Good implant alignment is now possible even when using smaller incisions. Less cutting on the knee translates into improved muscle and joint function.
Studies show that tiny receptors in the joint complex register position and movement. When these mechanoreceptors are damaged during surgery, recovery takes longer. Over time, anything that alters the normal biomechanics of the joint can lead to disability and even a second surgery. The cost of either is greater than the added expense of computer technology.