The Role of Intraoperative Navigation in Orthopaedic Surgery

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


An orthopaedic surgeon's knowledge of anatomical landmarks is crucial, but other modalities supplement this by providing guidance and feedback to a surgeon. Advances in imaging have enabled three-dimensional visualization of the surgical field and patient anatomy, whereas advances in computer technology have allowed for real-time tracking of instruments and implants. Together, these innovations have given rise to intraoperative navigation systems. The authors review these advances in intraoperative navigation across orthopaedic subspecialties, focusing on the most recent evidence on patient outcomes and complications, the associated learning curve, and the effects on operative time, radiation exposure, and cost. In spine surgery, navigated pedicle screw placement may increase accuracy and safety, especially valuable when treating complex deformities. Improved accuracy of pelvic and peri-articular tumor resection and percutaneous fixation of acetabular and femoral neck fractures has also been achieved using navigation. Early applications in arthroscopy have included surface-based registration for tunnel positioning for anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction and osteochondroplasty for femoro-acetabular impingement. Navigated arthroplasty techniques have addressed knee gap balancing and mechanical axis restoration as well as acetabular cup and glenoid baseplate positioning. Among these orthopaedic subspecialties, significant variation is found in the clinical relevance and dedication to research of navigation techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E849-E858
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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