Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy November 2016, Volume 24, Issue 11, pp 3565–3574

Current state of the art in total knee arthroplasty computer navigation

Picard, F., Deep, K. & Jenny, J.Y.


Computer-assisted surgery in orthopaedics is passing through the initial adapter phase of technology adoption. It started more than 20 years ago, but the uptake of technology is still not widespread. The purpose of this article is to introduce the reader to the basic technology and familiarize with the terminology used in the computer navigation.



During this time, the technology has matured and we have the evidence to prove its benefits for patients. Not only does it help placing the prosthetic components in correct orientation, it also helps with other parameters like blood loss and fat embolism reduction. In addition to being a teaching and training tool, it has also opened new areas of research which now question the traditional practices. Since it is not in commonly used, the basic aspects of computer navigation are not very well known.



This paper outlines some important definitions and restates the classification of navigation within the spectrum of computer-assisted technologies; it then elaborates on the key principles behind navigation in knee arthroplasty and goes through some of the differences between navigation systems. Finally, it describes in some detail the surgical steps with an image-free knee navigation system.



Computer-assisted navigation is not mainstream yet, but this article should help readers unfamiliar with the technology to understand the basic terms and how it actually works.


Level of Evidence


Download article