Blood loss after total knee replacement: effects of computer-assisted surgery

J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2005 Nov;87(11):1480-2. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.87B11.16474.


We carried out a prospective randomised study to evaluate the blood loss in 60 patients having a total knee arthroplasty and divided randomly into two equal groups, one having a computer-assisted procedure and the other a standard operation. The surgery was carried out by a single surgeon at one institution using a uniform approach. The only variable in the groups was the use of intramedullary femoral and tibial alignment jigs in the standard group and single tracker pins of the imageless navigation system in the tibia and femur in the navigated group. The mean drainage of blood was 1351 ml (715 to 2890; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1183 to 1518) in the computer-aided group and 1747 ml (1100 to 3030; CI 1581 to 1912) in the conventional group. This difference was statistically significant (p = 0.001). The mean calculated loss of haemoglobin was 36 g/dl in the navigated group versus 53 g/dl in the conventional group; this was significant at p < 0.00001. There was a highly significant reduction in blood drainage and the calculated Hb loss between the computer-assisted and the conventional techniques. This allows the ordering of less blood before the operation, reduces risks at transfusion and gives financial saving. Computer-assisted surgery may also be useful for patients in whom blood products are not acceptable.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee / methods*
  • Blood Transfusion
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / surgery*
  • Postoperative Care
  • Postoperative Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Postoperative Hemorrhage / prevention & control*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surgery, Computer-Assisted / methods*