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Comparison Between Computer-Assisted-Navigation and Conventional Total Knee Arthroplasties in Patients Undergoing Simultaneous Bilateral ProceduresA Randomized Clinical Trial
Guo-qiang Zhang, MD1; Ji-ying Chen, MD1; Wei Chai, PhD1; Ming Liu, MD1; Yan Wang, MD1
1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, General Hospital of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), Fuxing Road 28, Beijing, China 100853. E-mail address for Y. Wang: 301wangyan@sina.com.
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Disclosure: None of the authors received payments or services, either directly or indirectly (i.e., via his or her institution), from a third party in support of any aspect of this work. None of the authors, or their institution(s), have had any financial relationship, in the thirty-six months prior to submission of this work, with any entity in the biomedical arena that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. Also, no author has had any other relationships, or has engaged in any other activities, that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. The complete Disclosures of Potential Conflicts of Interest submitted by the authors of this work are available with the online version of this article at jbjs.org.

Investigation performed at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, General Hospital of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), Beijing, China
A commentary by Henry D. Clarke, MD, is linked to the online version of this article at jbjs.org.

Copyright © 2011 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2011 Jul 06;93(13):1190-1196. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.I.01778
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Total knee arthroplasty has been increasingly used for young and active patients, and prosthesis durability is important in these patients. The accuracy of implant placement has been one of the major factors that determine the long-term survival of the prosthesis. The purpose of this study was to compare the accuracy of prosthetic alignment between computer-assisted-navigation and conventional total knee arthroplasties.


From March 2007 to June 2008, thirty-two patients with bilateral knee osteoarthritis underwent simultaneous bilateral total knee arthroplasty with the same type of implant in each knee. The subjects included seven men and twenty-five women, with an average age of sixty-three years. For each patient, the bilateral total knee arthroplasty was performed with computer-assisted navigation in one knee and a conventional technique in the other. The operative technique and the order of the surgical procedures were randomized. The patients and surgeons conducting the follow-up study and performing the imaging measurements were blinded to the type of surgical procedure.


There was a significant difference between the two groups with regard to the alignment of the knee prosthesis in the coronal and sagittal planes. Nine knee implants (28%) in the conventional group, compared with no knee implants in the computer-navigation group, deviated >3° from the mechanical axis in the coronal plane. The coefficient variation of data in the conventional group was three times greater than that in the computer-navigation group. There was no significant difference in the rotational angle of the femoral component between the two groups. The Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) scores at six months postoperatively were substantially increased compared with the preoperative scores in both groups.


Computer-assisted navigation consistently provided coronal plane alignment within 3° of the mechanical axis, which was significantly better than the alignment obtained with conventional total knee arthroplasty.

Level of Evidence: 

Therapeutic Level II. See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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