Computer-assisted orthopedic surgery or computer-assisted orthopaedic surgery (sometimes abbreviated as CAOS) is a discipline where computer technology is applied pre-, intra- and/or post-operatively to improve the outcome of orthopaedic surgical procedures.
The principal idea behind CAOS is that operative outcomes will be improved through the use of computer technology. Taking the example of joint replacement, the task of the surgeon is to integrate the new joint components into the patient's existing anatomy; CAOS technologies allow the surgeon to:-
With CAOS, the surgeon can more accurately pinpoint anatomical landmarks that might be hard to see in a small incision. This navigation system then guides the surgeon through different bone cuts and finally to implantation. Computer-assisted orthopedic surgery is mostly used in knee implant surgery because of the precision the surgeon gets with femoral and tibial bone cuts. It is also used to navigate acetabular components placement where correct cup inclination is crucial.
The Navigation System provides surgeons valuable information on the accuracy of alignment, cuts, and positions of instrumentation and precise locations of surgical targets by the following ways:
Automatic Implant Sizing and Positioning: Based on each patient's unique anatomy, sophisticated sizing and positioning algorithm offers enhanced visualization of the anterior match to calculate the optimal implant size, flexion, and AP position to avoid notching.
Fit Analysis: The amount of uncovered bone above and below the implant's anterior flange and the maximum gap between the implant's anterior flange and the bony anatomy is represented graphically and numerically, in real time, prior to resections.
Intuitive Software Solutions: The Reactive Workflow feature seamlessly maneuvers through kinematic and resection screens based upon the position of the trackers, eliminating the need for user interaction. Custom Workflow Options: Customizable workflow allows surgeons to adapt the software to their specific operative technique.
Gap Balancing: The optional gap balancing feature provides the surgeon with a preview of the flexion/extension gaps in real time before any femoral resections are made
Versatility: Open platform software and cutting guides allow for navigation of primary femoral and tibial resections as well as kinematic analysis for the surgeon's preferred implant system.
Kinematic Feedback: Pre-operative and post-operative comparisons of maximum flexion/ extension and varus/valgus values provide intra-operative range of motion analysis.
Supports Minimally Invasive Techniques: Navigation enables the surgeon to eliminate the intramedullary rod in total knee procedures, which has been found to significantly decrease fat emboli.