The Miriam Hospital is among the first hospitals in the United States to offer revolutionary new computer-navigated surgery for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. Similar to a global positioning system (GPS), the OrthoPilot Navigation System helps orthopedic surgeons navigate potential detours and roadblocks inside a patient's joint, allowing for precise and exact measurements. Overall, computer-navigated ACL repair surgery has yielded drastically improved outcomes and shorter recovery times when compared to traditional surgical methods.
"Each year, there are approximately 175,000 ACL repair surgeries in the United States, usually in athletes. However, the failure rate of these surgeries is about 20 percent, meaning some 35,000 normally active people will be stuck on the sidelines each year. This can be devastating when you consider that many of these people are athletic young adults," says Robert Shalvoy, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at The Miriam Hospital.
According to Shalvoy, the positioning of the ligament is crucial to a successful ACL reconstruction. A difference of just a few millimeters can lead to problems with range of motion, instability, arthritis and potential graft failure.
The surgical navigation system uses infrared camera technology to capture a patient's anatomy, based on a series of transmitters strategically positioned on a patient's leg, and translates it to a computer screen. This provides the surgeon with an unobstructed, 3-dimensional view of the knee's structure in real time, including all relevant rotations, angles and distances. These transmitters are active throughout the surgery, providing the surgeon with intra-operative feedback regarding the accuracy of bone cuts, alignment and positioning of the bone and implants, and stabilize the ligament.
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