Knee replacement surgery continues to evolve and undergo technological advances. Most recently robotic technology has been introduced into the planning and execution of knee replacement. Whilst still early in its application, promising results have been reported. Robotic surgery forms an integral part of the rapid recovery program.
The surgeons at SKS utilise robotics in suitable patients who require knee replacement surgery. They are also actively leading world-first clinical research trials reporting on outcomes and surgical applications of robotic technology in knee replacement surgery. Dr Chen and Dr MacDessi are current members of an advisory team of international surgeons helping shape the future landscape of robotic technology in knee surgery.
Some of the benefits of robotic knee surgery commence before the patient has even entered the operating room. After detailed x-rays and CT scans of the affected knee are taken, the surgeon and bioengineer create a virtual plan and model of the knee. This allows accurate determination of the correct position that the prosthesis should be placed, and the required bone cuts that need to be made.
At the time of surgery, the surgeon undertakes a registration process of the patients knee and synchronises this with the computer software plan. Once confirmed, the robot is brought into the surgical field under the surgeons control.
Early studies have found more accurate bone cuts, less surrounding soft tissue (muscle, ligament and tendon) injury, and better recreation of the planned lower limb alignment with robotic surgery. All of these factors may lead to an earlier recovery, with reported less pain and improved mobility. The surgeons at SKS are undertaking more definitive research to confirm if these proposed benefits are significant to patient recovery.
As always, it is best to speak with your surgeon to see if you are suitable for robotic knee replacement surgery, and for a more detailed discussion on the technical aspects of this procedure.