Navio® Partial Knee Replacement Surgery

Meet Navio: A New Precision Guiding Robotic Tool for Partial Knee Replacement

Orthopaedic Hospital at Sentara CarePlex has a new robotic assisted surgical device for partial knee replacement surgery. With Navio, surgeons use a hand-held robotic tool to aid in the precise alignment of implants. Partial knee replacement (PKR) can be an option when arthritis is confined to a single compartment of the knee.

Orthopaedic Hospital at Sentara CarePlex is the first hospital in Virginia to use the Navio PFS Orthopedic Surgical System for unicompartmental (partial) knee replacements. In early 2015, Dr.  Michael Higgins was recognized by BlueBelt Technologies as the orthopedic surgeon performing the 1,000th Navio®  robotic assisted partial knee replacement surgery. With Navio, surgeons create a customized plan for each patient without the need for an additional CT scan. 

Navio Surgery: Questions and Answers

  • What is partial knee replacement/resurfacing?

    Partial knee replacement, partial knee resurfacing, or partial knee arthroplasty represents a surgical procedure which replaces diseased (OA) bone with artificial surfaces.

    The surgical procedure occurs through a smaller or minimally invasive incision, and can treat either the medial, the lateral (inside or outside) compartment of the knee. Additionally, the patellofemoral joint (PFJ) (beneath the patella/knee cap) can be singularly resurfaced if damaged or more commonly in conjunction with the medial compartment.

    A PFJ and medial PKR combination surgery is referred to as bi-compartmental (two compartments of the knee) knee replacement. During PKR, the surgeon not only replaces the damaged joint, but re-balances the knee’s alignment. If a patient is several degrees out of neutral mechanical leg alignment, the PKR procedure can correct to near neutral – fixing bow-legged or knock-kneed deformities.

    Read more about partial knee replacement.

  • Why would I choose partial knee replacement over total knee replacement?

    Partial knee replacement has certain potential benefits over a total knee replacement procedure for those patients who are properly indicated for PKR1. A partial knee procedure preserves any functioning and healthy ligaments and only replaces the compartment(s) of the knee that have osteoarthritic damage. This means that the patient may recover quicker from PKR surgery than TKR (total knee replacement) because of the smaller incisions and limited disruption to the soft-tissue capsular structure.*

    * Borus T, Thornhill T. Unicompartmental knee arthroplasty. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2008;16(1):9-18.

  • What are the results of partial knee replacement?

    A well-done partial knee replacement in an appropriately selected patient can have the survival rate that is comparable to that achieved with a total knee replacement in the first decade following surgery. The literature suggests that after the second decade, the revision rate may be somewhat higher for partial knee surgery than for total knee surgery. There may be an advantage to prolonging function and reducing pain in the patient’s joint prior to a total knee replacement, which is an end-of-the-line option.*

    *Borus T, Thornhill T. Unicompartmental knee arthroplasty. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2008;16(1):9-18.

  • Why does the Navio system work well for PKR?

    The Navio system works well for PKR because it allows the surgeon to utilize advanced robotic-assisted technology for accurate bone cutting in a platform that does not require a pre-operative CT scan. The robotic-controlled handpiece puts the power of a robotic-arm into the surgeon’s hands for them to engage fully with the operational technique.

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