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Navigation Technology

Computerized System Means Improved Joint Stability and Range of Motion

The Valley Hospital is an area leader in the use of a state-of-the-art surgical navigation system that is designed to allow a surgeon to align an artificial knee joint with greater precision. For the patient it means improved joint stability and range of motion and increased odds for a longer lasting knee implant.

A total knee replacement is a surgical procedure whereby the diseased knee joint is replaced with artificial material. Total knee replacement surgery is considered for patients whose knee joints have been damaged by either progressive arthritis, trauma, or other rare destructive diseases of the joint. The most common reason for knee replacement in the United States is severe osteoarthritis of the knees.

The Stryker surgical navigation technology is similar to directional tracking systems used in cars and ships – it is, in effect, a global positioning system for the surgeon. Infrared sensors placed near the knee in the operating room act like satellites constantly monitoring the location of markers and instruments placed along a patient’s anatomy.

As the surgeon moves an instrument within a patient’s joint, the infrared sensors calculate its position and smart wireless instruments instantaneously transfer the data to a computer in the OR. This information is then displayed as an interactive model of the anatomy or “blueprint” that supplies the surgeon with the optimum angles, lines and measurements needed to align the implant within the patient.

Orthopedic surgeons at The Valley Hospital are pioneering the use of navigation technology. In fact, the navigation system was used during 84 percent of the knee replacements done at Valley in the last year. Soon, the hospital will employ the navigation technology in hip replacement surgeries as well.

According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases about 500,000 hip and knee replacement procedures are performed annually in the United States. This figure is expected to increase as the population ages and arthritis affects more people. Currently, more than 70 million Americans suffer from some form of this degenerative disease.

For a referral to an orthopedic surgeon on The Valley Hospital Medical Staff, please call 201-447-8365.

For more information, please visit the Stryker Navigation web site.

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