Restoration of neutral alignment of the leg is an important factor affecting the long-term results of total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Recent developments in computer-assisted surgery have focused on systems for improving TKA.
In a prospective study two groups of 80 patients undergoing TKA had operations using either a computer-assisted navigation system or a conventional technique. Alignment of the leg and the orientation of components were determined on post-operative long-leg coronal and lateral films.
The mechanical axis of the leg was significantly better in the computer-assisted group (96%, within ±3° varus/valgus) compared with the conventional group (78%, within ±3° varus/valgus). The coronal alignment of the femoral component was also more accurate in the computer-assisted group.
Computer-assisted TKA gives a better correction of alignment of the leg and orientation of the components compared with the conventional technique. Potential benefits in the long-term outcome and functional improvement require further investigation.