Injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (a centrally located ligament in the knee) is common in sports such as football and basketball. The operative reconstruction of this ligament is one of the most frequently performed orthopaedic procedures. It is very important to perform this operation accurately to obtain a satisfactory outcome. This review set out to examine the evidence for using an additional computer during the operation to help with the positioning of the new anterior cruciate ligament.

Four randomised controlled trials were included. These involved 266 participants aged between 14 and 53 years. All four trials involved anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.We were unclear about the reliability of study findings due to poor reporting of methods. The trials found no important differences between computer assisted and conventional surgery for patient reported quality of life outcomes. Likewise there were no significant differences between the two treatment groups in the numbers with normal or early normal knee function. The only adverse effects reported were some loss in range of motion in two versus three participants of one trial. Computer assisted surgery resulted in longer operations.

The review concluded that there is insufficient evidence to advise for or against the use of computer assisted surgery in knee ligament reconstruction.,
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Department of Orthopaedics

Meuffels, D., Reijman, M., Scholten, R., & Verhaar, J. (2011). Computer assisted surgery for knee ligament reconstruction (Review).. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (Vol. 2011). doi:10.1002/14651858.CD007601.pub2