Background: Precision placement of implants in total elbow arthroplasty (TEA) using conventional surgical techniques can be difficult and riddled with errors. Modern technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and 3-dimensional (3D) printing have already found useful applications in many fields of medicine. We proposed a cutting-edge surgical technique, augmented reality total elbow arthroplasty (ARTEA), that uses AR and 3D printing to provide 3D information for intuitive preoperative planning. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of humeral and ulnar component placement using ARTEA. Methods: Twelve upper extremities from human frozen cadavers were used for experiments performed in this study. We scanned the extremities via computed tomography prior to performing TEA to plan placement sites using computer simulations. The ARTEA technique was used to perform TEA surgery on 6 of the extremities, whereas conventional (non-ARTEA) techniques were used on the other 6 extremities. Computed tomography scanning was repeated after TEA completion, and the error between the planned and actual placements of humeral and ulnar components was calculated and compared. Results: For humeral component placement, the mean positional error ± standard deviation of ARTEA vs. non-ARTEA was 1.4° ± 0.6° vs. 4.4° ± 0.9° in total rotation (P = .002) and 1.5 ± 0.6 mm vs. 8.6 ± 1.3 mm in total translation (P = .002). For ulnar component placement, the mean positional error ± standard deviation of ARTEA vs. non-ARTEA was 5.5° ± 3.1° vs. 19.5° ± 9.8° in total rotation (P = .004) and 1.5 ± 0.4 mm vs. 6.9 ± 1.6 mm in total translation (P = .002). Both rotational accuracy and translational accuracy were greater for joint components replaced using the ARTEA technique compared with the non-ARTEA technique (P < .05). Conclusion: Compared with conventional surgical techniques, ARTEA had greater accuracy in prosthetic implant placement when used to perform TEA.
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