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J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2007 Mar;89(3):494-9.

Validation and usefulness of a computer-assisted cup-positioning system in total hip arthroplasty. A prospective, randomized, controlled study.

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Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Aix-Marseille University, Hôpital Sainte-Marguerite, Marseille, France.



Malpositioning of the acetabular component during total hip arthroplasty increases the risk of dislocation, reduces the range of motion, and can be responsible for early wear and loosening. The purpose of this study was to compare computer-assisted with freehand insertion of the acetabular component.


A randomized, controlled, matched prospective study of two groups of thirty patients each was performed. In the first group, cup positioning was assisted by an imageless computer-assisted surgical system based on bone morphing. In the control group, the cup was placed freehand. All of the patients were operated on by the same surgeon through an anterolateral approach. Cup anteversion and abduction angles were measured on three-dimensional computed tomography reconstructions postoperatively for each patient by an independent observer using special cup-evaluation software.


There were sixteen men and fourteen women in each group, and the mean body-mass index was approximately 25 in each group. The computer-assisted procedure took a mean of twelve minutes longer than the freehand procedure. Fifty-seven percent (seventeen) of the thirty cups placed freehand and 20% (six) of the thirty in the computer-assisted group were outside of the defined safe zone (outliers). This difference was significant (p = 0.002). There were no differences between the computer-assisted group and the freehand-placement group with regard to the mean abduction and anteversion angles, but there was a significant heterogeneity of variances, with the lowest variations in the computer-assisted group.


Use of an imageless navigation system can improve cup positioning in total hip arthroplasty by reducing the percentage of outliers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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