Computer-Assisted Total Knee Replacement


Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, the University at Buffalo


Kenneth Krackow, MD, University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences professor of orthopedic surgery


Total knee replacement procedures have been performed since the 1960s, but surgeons were dissatisfied with the prosthetics’ variable life span, which primarily depended on two factors: the wear and tear on the knee and the replacement components’ fit, which was based on the “naked eye.” The new system is more accurate. It enables surgeons to make precise decisions on the alignment and orientation of instruments, the location and depth of bone cuts and the placement of knee implant components. The procedure is now used worldwide.


In the mid-1990s, Krackow developed the technology. By 1997, he performed the first computer-assisted total knee replacement. A few years later, Krackow partnered with the medical products manufacturer Stryker Company to further refine the equipment. It is the first FDA-approved total-knee replacement procedure in the country.