Joint replacement surgery has been transforming patients’ lives for decades, and the ever-increasing advancements of techniques such as robotic-assisted surgery have made improved mobility more achievable than ever.
Traditional, or conventional, joint replacement surgery involves an open procedure during which the damaged areas of the joint are replaced with artificial materials such as specialized plastic, metal, or ceramic. The positioning of the structures used in traditional joint replacement is greatly determined by the surgeon’s evaluation of x-rays of the joint taken prior to surgery.
Robotic-assisted surgery allows for the same procedure to be performed utilizing a robotic arm which is controlled by the surgeon. Robotic-assisted surgery involves using a CT scan (typically taken several weeks prior to surgery) to produce a three-dimensional model of the affected joint. The model is then used to digitally plan the surgery based on the patient’s individual anatomy thus enhancing precision.
Benefits of robotic-assisted surgery include:
- Patient specific anatomic customization
- Increased accuracy in preparation of bone surfaces
- Lower risk of complications
- Reduced injury to adjacent healthy tissue
- Faster recovery and more optimal outcomes
The orthopedic surgeons at OSMI are extensively trained and experienced at performing robotic-assisted joint replacement surgeries and are pleased to offer this advanced technology to our patients.
Robotic-Assisted Knee Replacement
The robotic-assisted knee replacement procedure begins before the actual operation is performed. Prior to surgery, your doctor will use CT scan imagery to create a 3D model of your knee joint. This model is used to evaluate:
- Bone structure
- Joint alignment
- Disease severity
- Surrounding tissue and bone
This pre-surgical planning helps ensure precision in the sizing, alignment, and positioning of the knee implant.
During the minimally invasive knee replacement surgery, also called arthroplasty, the damaged surfaces of the knee joint are precisely removed as the surgeon guides the robotic arm. This allows for improved alignment and precise placement of all elements of the new knee structure based on the data ascertained from the 3D CT scan model. The pinpoint accuracy provided by this state-of-the-art method of knee replacement helps give each patient a more custom and natural feeling knee replacement.
One of the post-operative goals of robotic-assisted knee replacement is to give the patient the ability to participate in daily activities without thinking about or constantly being aware of the new joint. Patient surveys show that the robotic-assisted procedure results in a more natural feeling of the joint and less joint awareness after surgery.
Recovery from robotic-assisted knee replacement generally takes one to three months of coordinated physical therapy.
Robotic-Assisted Hip Replacement
Hip replacement surgery is performed for patients experiencing hip pain from conditions such as osteoarthritis, inflammatory arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, and hip dysplasia that are unresponsive to conservative treatment methods. Hip replacement surgery involves removing the diseased bone and replacing it with a prosthetic implant comprised of multiple components made of metal, plastic, and/or ceramic. The implanted prosthetic parts then duplicate the function of a healthy, natural joint.
OSMI is pleased to offer our patients robotic-assisted hip replacement procedures to ensure precision during surgery allowing for optimal outcomes and faster recoveries. Robotic-assisted hip replacement utilizes CT scans taken prior to surgery which are uploaded to the Mako SmartRobotics system to generate a 3D model of the patient’s affected hip joint. A customized surgical plan is created based on the individual anatomy mirrored in the model.
During hip surgery, your surgeon is in full control of the robotic arm which is used to guide the procedure within the predetermined parameters for removing only diseased bone and placing the implant. While the robotic arm prevents variances during the hip surgery, the surgeon can make modifications intraoperatively if necessary.
Precision is one of the biggest advantages offered with robotic-assisted hip replacement. Accurate placement of the hip implant will ensure the ability to walk naturally after surgery, as well as match leg length more exactly. Studies show robotic-assisted hip replacement surgery is five times more accurate at matching leg length and twice as precise at achieving optimal hip joint angle than conventional hip replacement surgery.
Other benefits include:
- Reduced blood loss
- More natural feeling after surgery
- Decreased complications
- Faster return to activities
- Shorter hospital stay
Direct Anterior Approach Hip Replacement
During traditional hip replacement surgery, the muscles and tendons connected to the hip must be detached to gain access to the hip for removal of diseased bone and placement of the prosthetic. Detaching these structures can increase post-surgical pain, prolong recovery time exponentially, and heighten the risk of hip dislocation, the leading cause of hip replacement surgery failure. General approaches to hip replacement surgery include:
- Posterior approach – the incision is made at the back of the hip
- Lateral approach – access through the side of the hip
- Anterior approach – access to hip through incision in front of the hip joint
The direct anterior approach for hip replacement is a minimally invasive procedure during which a small 3–4-inch incision is made at the anterior (front) of the hip joint to gain access to the diseased hip joint. The surgeon is then able to simply move the soft tissue aside rather than detaching any muscles or tendons. This muscle-sparing approach has been shown in a Mayo clinic randomized study to produce faster recovery times than other methods, such as the mini-posterior approach.
Other benefits of utilizing the direct anterior approach for hip replacement include:
- Less post-operative pain
- More normal walking mechanics
- Better stability of the hip joint
- Less or no hip precautions after surgery
If you are experiencing chronic knee and/or hip pain that is unresponsive to non-operative treatments, you may be a candidate for robotic-assisted joint replacement surgery. The experienced orthopedic surgeons at OSMI can create an individualized treatment plan that is right for you to help you gain mobility and enjoy a pain-free active lifestyle.