Unicompartmental knee prosthesis implantation with a non-image-based navigation system: rationale, technique, case-control comparative study with a conventional instrumented implantation

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2003 Jan;11(1):40-5. doi: 10.1007/s00167-002-0333-8. Epub 2002 Dec 18.


The accuracy of implantation is an accepted prognostic factor for the long-term survival of unicompartmental knee prostheses (UKP). We developed a non-image-guided navigation system for UKP implantation without any extramedullary or intramedullary guiding device. The 30 patients operated on with the navigation system (group A) were matched to 30 patients operated on with the conventional technique (group B) using age, sex, body mass index, preoperative coronal mechanical femorotibial angle, and severity of the preoperative degenerative changes. All patients had a complete radiological examination in the first 3 months after the index procedure, with anteroposterior and lateral plain knee radiographs and anteroposterior and lateral long leg radiographs. Coronal femorotibial mechanical angle and both coronal and sagittal orientations of the femoral and tibial components were measured. There were no significant differences in the mean numerical values of all measured angles except for the sagittal orientation of the tibial component, with a significant excessive posterior tibial slope in group B. There was a significant increase in the rate of prostheses implanted in the desired angular range for all criteria except the coronal mechanical femorotibial angle in group A. An optimal implantation with all optimal items was obtained by 18 cases in group A and 6 cases in group B. Navigated implantation of a UKP with the used, non-image-based system improved the accuracy of the radiological implantation without any significant inconvenience and with little change in the conventional operative technique. The only inconvenience was a 20-min longer operative time. This improvement could be related to a longer survival of such implanted prostheses.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee / instrumentation
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee / methods*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infrared Rays
  • Knee Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Knee Joint / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Photography / instrumentation
  • Radiography
  • Surgery, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation
  • Surgery, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Time Factors