An orthopedic surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in New York City performed the first augmented reality (AR) knee replacement in the U.S. designed and engineered with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.
The AR knee software, known as NextAR TKA, uses a preoperative CT scan of the patient's knee for surgical planning and the use of AR glasses during surgery. The glasses allow the orthopedic surgeon to visualize the structures of the knee and track progress in real time directly on the operative field.
The enhanced visualization made for ultraprecise alignment and positioning of the knee implant, which makes all the difference in terms of the replacement feeling more natural, according to the doctor who performed the surgery, Dr. Jonathan Vigdorchik. NextAR TKA provides direct tracking of the collateral ligaments and a 3D analysis of soft tissue throughout the whole range of motion during surgery, which makes for optimal ligament balancing for the patient.
The portable system can be used in ambulatory surgery centers in addition to hospital operating room, according to a press release.