As we mature, our weight-bearing joints such as the hips and knees start to become worn out. Eventually, for some people, an operation such as a total or partial joint replacement may be necessary and these are being done increasingly as people are living longer. Sometimes the whole joint needs replacing but other times, just part of it Patients who have a partial knee replacement for example, often report better outcomes in terms of comfort and progress as the joint feels less artificial.
At Highgate Private Hospital, we are proud to offer computer-navigated hip and knee replacement surgery – a procedure that is lead by one of our expert orthopaedic surgeons, Mr Reza Jenabzadeh. This type of surgery combines the application of computer technology with the art of surgery, to create precision and accuracy during the operation, and therefore achieves better outcomes.
Computer navigation technology has been around for the last 10-15 years in countries such as Australia and India and has become increasingly popular in specialities such as neurosurgery, and now in hip and knee joint replacements. It is becoming increasingly used in the UK as evidence from national joint registries has shown that people who have computer-assisted knee replacement have much lower revision rates.
The technology involves computer scanning of the knee or hip joint (during the planning stages of the operation) from every angle to create a 3D image; this provides detailed information to the surgeon, regarding the extent and location of damage in the joint. In addition, computer navigation also helps the orthopaedic surgeon plan the surgery more accurately so that it is minimally disruptive, and preserves as much healthy tissue in the joint as possible. It can assist the orthopaedic surgeon to position the prosthesis with accuracy, down to the last fraction of a millimetre.
The use of computer navigation can also assist with hip replacement surgery by aiding placement of the implant accurately within a millimetre. This reduces the likelihood of any leg-length discrepancies or any issues with limping or dislocation post-operatively. As with computer-navigated knee replacement, a lower revision rate can be expected of hip replacement surgery using computer navigation.
As this is a relatively innovative and novel technique, collecting data with regards to outcome and patient satisfaction is important and to date, the results are most encouraging with patients reporting improved joint function and a more natural sensation with the joint. Recent papers have demonstrated an improved outcome and lower blood loss with a computer-navigated knee replacement.
This exciting technology has limited access in the NHS and this type of hip and knee replacement surgery may not yet be widely available but it is a revolutionary technique that many orthopaedic surgeons, especially hip and knee specialists, are using increasingly in the private sector and we are delighted to be able to offer it here at Highgate Private Hospital.
Computer-navigated hip and knee replacements Consultants