Computer Assisted Accelerometer Guided Total Knee Arthroplasty / Total Knee Replacement Article and Video

Computer Assisted Accelerometer Guided Total Knee Arthroplasty (Total Knee Replacement)

Adam Sassoon, M.D.


Total knee replacement, or arthroplasty, is an effective surgical procedure to treat pain and functional loss resulting from arthritis of the knee, sports injuries, congenital conditions, and general wear and tear.  Arthritis results in a loss of the protective cartilage within the joint that allows for smooth joint motion.  Once cartilage is gone, the knee becomes painful and stiff, secondary to inflammation, arising from the rough bony surfaces rubbing against each other during joint motion.

A total knee replacement removes the rough and diseased bony surfaces within the joint. Smooth ceramic, or metal, and plastic components are implanted to restore pain free motion and weight bearing. After surgery you can walk pain-free and sleep at ease and usually go back to the physical activities you once loved.

Traditionally, the removal of diseased bone is performed by a series of saw cuts during the procedure.  These cuts are made with the assistance of cutting jigs which are positioned using local anatomic landmarks.  These cuts determine the overall alignment of the replacement components, which plays an important role in the function and survivorship of the knee replacement. 

Recent advancements in technology have applied accelerometers to assist in precise positioning of these cutting jigs. Instead of relying on local anatomic landmarks, the center of rotation of the hip and ankle are captured by the accelerometer so that center of the knee joint is placed in line with this axis. This can lead to a more accurately aligned total knee replacement.

Downstream effects of improved positioning of the cutting jigs, and therefore implant position, may include improved survivorship of the total knee components, improved post-operative pain, easier return to function, and improved range of motion. 

Video: Computer Assisted Accelerometer Guided Total Knee Arthoplasty (Total Knee Replacement)

Who benefits from Computer Assisted Accelerometer Guided Total Knee Arthroplasty (Total knee Replacement)?

Patients who have extreme knee pain and disabilities caused by rheumatoid arthritis, trauma, osteoarthritis, and congenital defects would benefit from computer assisted accelrometer guided total knee replacement. Either through degeneration or trauma to the knee, the cartilage may have worn away where the patient’s shinbone (tibia) and thighbone (Femur) rub directly against each other. Generally, patients have already tried the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, cortisone injections, and physician therapy to find a solution to their knee problems.

Things to keep in mind when considering Accelerometer Guided Total Knee Arthroplasty (Total Knee Replacement)!

Rehabilitation is a very important for patient success after having a total knee arthoplasty done to one or both knees. Patients are up and out of bed on the same day of surgery, this helps the healing and rehabilition process greatly. All partients are treated by a team of physicans, surgical residents, nurses and physical therapists who all specialize in joint replacement patient care.

There are many options when it comes to which impant is used on a case by case basis. The patient's activy level, age, weight, overall health and specific needs are carefully taken into consideration.

Written By Adam A. Sassoon, M.D.Assistant ProfessorUW Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. 

If you have any questions about Computer Assisted Accelerometer Guided Total Knee Arthroplasty (Total Knee Replacement), feel free to schedule an appointment at 206.520.5000.

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