Julian Stoddart

Computer Navigated Hip Surgery



Computer navigation is a technique to help improve the accuracy of the position of the hip replacement. It also provides a very accurate means of measuring leg length.  An Infrared tracker is attached to the pelvis and a computer map of the hip is generated.  Another tracker is attached to various instruments.  The computer is then used to help the surgeon prepare the bone and position the hip components accurately.




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How computer navigation works -


(A) Infrared emitters can be attached both to instruments and to the patient


(B) A sensor collects the data from the trackers


(C) A screen displays real time information of the instrument positions allowing the surgeon to complete the operation with a high degree of accuracy





The computer does not replace the surgeon but is is a very accurate tool to help ensure the best chance of a well positioned joint.  This should reduce the risk of hip dislocations. The risk of leg length differences after surgery is also diminished.  It's a bit like comparing a GPS system to a map and compass.


The navigation adds very little cost to the procedure. Should the navigation fail it does not preclude using older techniques.




This diagram shows one tracker attached to the pelvis and the other to the instrument used to insert the shell




Julian has been using computer navigation for his knee replacements for the last seven years and has accumulated a wealth of experience with navigation.  Hip navigation has been accessible since early 2011. Since this time Julian has navigated all his hip joints. He has noticed improved component position and has had no complications from utilising this technique.




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