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Proc Inst Mech Eng H. 2013 Mar;227(3):302-9.

Haptically guided robotic technology in total hip arthroplasty: a cadaveric investigation.

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Adult Reconstruction and Joint Replacement Division, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York 10021, USA.


The longevity of total hip arthroplasty (THA) continues to improve with advancements in design and bearing materials. However, the incidence of dislocation and impingement-related failures continue to rise, with the inability of the surgeon to achieve optimal component orientation cited as a cause. Computer-assistance has been shown to increase the accuracy of component orientation and robotic-assistance has been developed to translate this advantage into precise surgical execution. We sought to validate a haptically-guided robotic arm system in performing THA with the aim of comparing the accuracy of robotic-assisted acetabular cup placement to manual placement. We implanted 12 acetabular components in 6 cadaveric pelvises comparing robotic-assistance on one side with manual implantation on the other. We measured planned and actual center of rotation (COR), cup position, leg-length equalization and offset for each THA using computed tomography and the robotic platform. The root-mean-square (RMS) error for the robotic-assisted system was within 3 degrees for cup placement and within 1 mm for leg-length equalization and offset when compared to computed tomography. The robotic-assisted system was significantly more accurate than manual implantation in reproducing the COR and cup orientation, as determined by a preoperative plan. The RMS error for manual implantation compared to robotic-assistance was 5 times higher for cup inclination and 3.4 times higher for cup anteversion (p < 0.01). Robotic-assistance is more accurate than manual implantation in achieving optimal cup orientation. It has the ability to eliminate human error from THA and should be considered in light of THA failures due to component malposition.

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