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The current status and future prospects of computer-assisted hip surgery

The advances in computer assistance technology have allowed detailed three-dimensional preoperative planning and simulation of preoperative plans. The use of a navigation system as an intraoperative assistance tool allows more accurate execution of the preoperative plan, compared to manual operation without assistance of the navigation system.

In total hip arthroplasty using CT-based navigation, three-dimensional preoperative planning with computer software allows the surgeon to determine the optimal angle of implant placement at which implant impingement is unlikely to occur in the range of hip joint motion necessary for daily activities of living, and to determine the amount of three-dimensional correction for leg length and offset. With the use of computer navigation for intraoperative assistance, the preoperative plan can be precisely executed.

In hip osteotomy using CT-based navigation, the navigation allows three-dimensional preoperative planning, intraoperative confirmation of osteotomy sites, safe performance of osteotomy even under poor visual conditions, and a reduction in exposure doses from intraoperative fluoroscopy. Positions of the tips of chisels can be displayed on the computer monitor during surgery in real time, and staff other than the operator can also be aware of the progress of surgery. Thus, computer navigation also has an educational value. On the other hand, its limitations include the need for placement of trackers, increased radiation exposure from preoperative CT scans, and prolonged operative time. Moreover, because the position of a bone fragment cannot be traced after osteotomy, methods to find its precise position after its movement need to be developed. Despite the need to develop methods for the postoperative evaluation of accuracy for osteotomy, further application and development of these systems are expected in the future.

Computer-Assisted Rotational Acetabular Osteotomy for Patients with Acetabular Dysplasia

Rotational acetabular osteotomy (RAO) is a well-established surgical procedure for patients with acetabular dysplasia, and excellent long-term results have been reported. However, RAO is technically demanding and precise execution of this procedure requires experience with this surgery. The usefulness of computer navigation in RAO includes its ability to perform three-dimensional (3D) preoperative planning, enable safe osteotomy even with a poor visual field, reduce exposure to radiation from intraoperative fluoroscopy, and display the tip position of the chisel in real time, which is educationally useful as it allows staff other than the operator to follow the progress of the surgery. In our results comparing 23 hips that underwent RAO with navigation and 23 hips operated on without navigation, no significant difference in radiological assessment was observed. However, no perioperative complications were observed in the navigation group whereas one case of transient femoral nerve palsy was observed in non-navigation group. A more accurate and safer RAO can be performed using 3D preoperative planning and intraoperative assistance with a computed tomography-based navigation system.

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