Robotic-assisted total knee replacement is a relatively new advancement in the field of orthopaedic surgery. It combines the expertise of the surgeon with the precision and guidance of robotic technology to enhance the accuracy and outcomes of the procedure. During a robotic-assisted total knee replacement, the surgeon uses a robotic system to assist with various aspects of the surgery, including preoperative planning, intraoperative guidance, and implant placement. The robotic system consists of a robotic arm controlled by the surgeon, a computer workstation, and specialised software.
The procedure begins with a preoperative CT scan of the patient's knee, which helps create a three-dimensional virtual model of the joint. The surgeon then uses this model to plan the optimal size and placement of the implants based on the patient's anatomy and the severity of the knee damage. During the surgery, the robotic system provides real-time feedback to the surgeon, assisting in precise bone cuts, alignment, and implant positioning. The robotic arm can make adjustments to ensure accurate execution of the surgical plan, helping to achieve optimal implant fit and alignment. Robotic-assisted total knee replacement offers several potential advantages over traditional knee replacement techniques:
- Improved accuracy - The robotic system provides real-time guidance to the surgeon, helping to ensure precise bone cuts, alignment, and implant positioning. This can potentially lead to better functional outcomes and implant longevity.
- Customization - The preoperative planning and robotic guidance allow for a personalised approach to the surgery, considering the patient's unique anatomy and alignment. The implants can be tailored to the patient's needs, potentially improving the overall fit and function.
- Faster recovery - By enhancing the precision of the surgery, robotic-assisted total knee replacement may result in improved joint stability, reduced postoperative pain, and quicker rehabilitation. This can lead to a faster recovery and return to normal activities.
- Reduced complications - The precise alignment and positioning of the implants can help reduce the risk of complications such as implant loosening, instability, and premature wear. This can potentially improve the longevity of the artificial joint.
It is important to note that while robotic-assisted total knee replacement has shown promising results, it may not be suitable for every patient. The decision to undergo this procedure should be made in consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon who can evaluate the individual's specific condition and determine the most appropriate treatment approach.