Computer Assisted Knee Surgery at UnityPoint Health - Meriter

ER - Madison

3 min Average
UnityPoint Health - Madison

Computer Assisted Knee Surgery

Computer assisted knee surgery combines the precision accuracy of computer technology with the surgeon's skill to perform a knee procedure.


  • Allows surgeons to make adjustments within a fraction of a degree, to ensure optimal fitting for the joint.
  • Used as a guide to correctly position the joint in situations where it is otherwise difficult to get a good view of the patient's knee anatomy.
  • It eliminates the need for a rod to be inserted up the length of the femur. The rod was used to determine the alignment of the implant in relation to the hip joint.
  • The computer provides a larger visual to make minimally invasive surgery possible. This means a shorter scar, less physical therapy and a faster return to normal life.
  • The accurately aligned implant may extend its lifespan and prevent future corrective surgeries.
  • Due to the small incisions, the surgery and recovery time will decrease.

What is Computer Assisted Knee Surgery?

The computer is a measurement guide; it is used as a tool for the skilled surgeon. For the first time, doctors have detailed information that is received before making necessary cuts, which allows them to balance the patient's ligaments.

Before the surgery, a visual model of the patient's knee is developed. The image is projected on a monitor that helps the surgeon align the patient's bone and knee implant with precise accuracy that's not possible with the naked eye.

How Does Computer Assisted Knee Surgery Work?

  • The camera: captures how the bones, instruments, and implant are relative to each other.
  • The arrays: are small, metal receivers that help measure and relay spatial information to cameras.
  • The software: continually monitors the position and mechanical alignment of the joint replacement components relative to the patient's specific anatomy. It then alerts the surgeon when the instrument is in the most accurate position to make the ideal cut.
  • The computer: analyzes and displays the patient's kinematic data on the screen in the form of charts and graphs. It tracks the precise position of the implant and the surgeon's instruments at all times during the procedure.
  • The images: provide the surgeon with the angles, lines, and measurement needed to best align the patient's hip or knee implant.