Navigated versus conventional drilling of the knee in a model of obesity

Johannes Beckmann 1 , Markus Tingart 1 , Juergen Goetz 1 , Sven Anders 1 , Joachim Grifka 1 , and Franz Kock 1
  • 1 Orthopedic Clinic and Policlinic of the University of Regensburg, Germany


Core decompression by exact drilling into ischemic lesions of the femoral condyle stays a challenging procedure, particularly in obese patients. The precision of fluoroscopically-based drilling compared to conventional drilling was evaluated in an in-vitro model for obesity. 40 sawbones were prepared mimicking osteonecrosis in obese patients. 20 sawbones were drilled by guidance of an intraoperative navigation system VectorVision® (BrainLAB, Munich, Germany); the other 20 sawbones were conventionally drilled by fluoroscopic control only. Regarding the distance to the desired mid-point of the lesion, a statistically significant difference with 0.55 mm in the navigated group and 1.19 mm in the control group could be stated (p<0.001). Significant differences were further found for the number of drilling corrections (p<0.001) and radiation time needed (p<0.001). Even in difficult circumstances as in obese patients, the drilling guided by the VectorVision®-navigation system shows high precision with simultaneous enormous reduction of radiation time.

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