What is JointPoint Software Technology for Hip Replacement?
JointPoint software technology for hip replacement is a computer-assisted hip navigation system designed to help your surgeon at the time of hip replacement surgery with increased accuracy, efficacy, and precision. During the procedure, X-rays are captured of your hip and analyzed by the JointPoint software to ensure placement of the desired femoral and acetabular implants. Better implant sizing and position helps to accomplish a more natural feel, a high degree of stability, and longer lasting implants.
JointPoint system enabled hip replacement procedure is a minimally invasive, image-guided surgical procedure to replace your diseased or damaged hip joint with a prosthesis (implant) using the assistance of JointPoint computer software technology. The JointPoint software creates and displays images and provides your surgeon significant information on cup position, femoral offset, and leg length that aids your surgeon at various stages of the procedure to improve accuracy and results.
A computer-assisted navigation system has three basic components:
- A special navigation camera that visualizes your hip joint and creates images
- Smart instruments that can be tracked by the camera
- Computer with specialized surgical navigation software to integrate the images with surgical information
Anatomy of the Hip
The hip joint is one of the body's largest weight-bearing joints and is the point where the thighbone (femur) and pelvis (acetabulum) join. It is a ball-and-socket joint in which the head of the femur forms the ball, and the pelvic acetabulum forms the socket. The joint surface is covered by smooth articular cartilage that cushions and enables smooth movement of the joint. The bones are held together by bands of tissue called ligaments that provide stability to the joint.
Indications for JointPoint Software Technology-Assisted Hip Replacement
Some of the indications for a JointPoint software technology-assisted hip replacement include:
- Treatment of arthritic conditions, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis of the hip joint
- Severe hip joint pain that limits your activities of daily living, such as walking or climbing stairs
- Dislocation of the hip joint
- Severe hip joint fracture or trauma
- Failed total hip replacement surgery
- Failure to obtain pain relief from medications, injections, physical therapy, or other conservative treatments
Preparation for JointPoint Software Technology-Assisted Hip Replacement
In general, preoperative preparation for JointPoint software technology-assisted hip replacement will involve the following steps:
- A thorough examination by your doctor is performed to check for any medical issues that need to be addressed prior to surgery.
- Depending on your medical history, social history, and age, you may need to undergo tests such as bloodwork and imaging to screen for any abnormalities that could threaten the safety of the procedure.
- You will be asked if you have allergies to medications, anesthesia, or latex.
- You should inform your doctor of any medications, vitamins, or supplements that you are taking.
- You should refrain from medications or supplements such as blood thinners, aspirin, or anti-inflammatory medicines for 1 to 2 weeks prior to surgery.
- You should refrain from alcohol or tobacco at least a week before surgery.
- You should not consume solids or liquids at least 8 hours prior to surgery.
- Arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery.
- A written consent will be obtained from you after the surgical procedure has been explained in detail.
Procedure for JointPoint Software Technology-Assisted Hip Replacement
The procedure is done under general anesthesia with you appropriately placed on the operating table. JointPoint computer software navigation provides the surgeon with real-time 3-D images of the mapped patient’s hip joint and the surgical instruments during surgery. The data for the images is provided by the infrared sensors fixed to the bones of the joint and the surgical instruments. Their position is tracked by an infrared camera placed above the surgical table connected to the computer. The computer then generates the real-time images with the help of the JointPoint software to guide the surgeon to precisely resurface and cut the bones of the hip joint and fix the implant precisely and accurately according to the pre-operative surgical plan.
The surgery is performed entirely by your surgeon. JointPoint software navigation is just a tool to guide your surgeon and ensure accuracy. It cannot replace the skills of an experienced surgeon.
Postoperative Care and Instructions
In general, postoperative care instructions and recovery after JointPoint software technology-assisted hip replacement will involve the following:
- You will be transferred to the recovery area where your nurse will closely observe you for any allergic/anesthetic reactions and monitor your vital signs as you recover.
- Patients may need to stay in the hospital for a day or two before discharge to home.
- You may notice some pain, swelling, and discomfort in the hip area. Pain and anti-inflammatory medications are provided as needed.
- Antibiotics are also prescribed to address the risk of surgery-related infection.
- You will be placed on assistive devices such as crutches with instructions on restricted weight-bearing for a specified period of time. You are encouraged to walk with assistance as frequently as possible to prevent blood clots.
- Keep the surgical site clean and dry. Instructions on surgical site care and bathing will be provided.
- Refrain from smoking as it can hinder the healing process.
- Eating a healthy diet rich in vitamin D is strongly advised to promote healing and a faster recovery.
- Refrain from strenuous activities for the first few months and lifting heavy weights for at least 6 months. Gradual increase in activities over a period of time is recommended.
- An individualized physical therapy protocol will be designed to help strengthen hip muscles and optimize hip function.
- Most patients are able to resume their normal activities in 3 to 4 weeks after surgery; however, return to sports may take at least 6 months or longer.
- Refrain from driving until you are fully fit and receive your doctor’s consent.
- A periodic follow-up appointment will be scheduled to monitor your progress.
Advantages of JointPoint Software Technology-Assisted Hip Replacement
Some of the advantages of JointPoint software technology-assisted hip replacement include:
- Better accuracy in sizing and positioning of your hip implant
- Improved functional outcome and stability
- Improved durability of the implant
- Reduced risk of leg-length discrepancies
- Minimal postoperative pain
- Quicker recovery
Risks and Complications
JointPoint software technology-assisted hip replacement is a relatively safe procedure; however, as with any surgery, some risks and complications may occur, such as the following:
- Postoperative pain
- Damage to nerves and vessels
- Thromboembolism or blood clots
- Dislocations (rarely)
- Anesthetic/allergic reactions