Julian Stoddart

Computer Navigated Knee Surgery



Computer navigation is a technique to help improve the accuracy of the alignment of the knee replacement.  Infrared trackers are attached to the thigh and shin bone and a computer map of the knee is generated.  The trackers can then be attached to cutting guides and the computer can then help the surgeon position these with up to half a degree of accuracy.  This allows for very precise bone cuts to be made.




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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 aligned joint.  It's a bit like comparing a GPS system to a map and compass.


The navigation adds very little cost to the procedure and makes the surgery less invasive.  Should the navigation fail it does not preclude using older techniques.




This diagram shows one tracker attached to the femur (thigh bone) and the other to the tibia (the shin bone)




Julian has been using computer navigation for his knee replacements since 2005.  When Julian introduced knee navigation to New Plymouth,  New Plymouth became one of the first peripheral centers to use this exciting technology.  Julian has now accumulated a wealth of experience using this technique.  He has been involved in assisting other surgeons wishing to use the technology. Currently Julian navigates all his replacement surgeries where possible.




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