Robotic assisted Knee Replacement involves the use of a robotic arm, which is controlled by the surgeon to assist in planning and placement of the knee replacement components. Its use is becoming more widespread in facilities both in Australia and Internationally, with Dr Radic offering Robotic Knee Surgery (Partial and Total Knee Replacement) at Hollywood Private Hospital.

Two types of robots used in robotic knee surgery

The MAKO system is used in robotic partial knee replacement surgery

What is robotic partial knee replacement?

Partial knee replacement was the first area where robotics was implemented in to orthopaedic knee surgery. It has been used in a research capacity since 2006, and more recently is available for widespread use in the clinical setting.

In robotic partial knee surgery, only the damaged portions of the knee are replaced. The knee can be divided in to three areas, the medial (inside), lateral (outside) and patellofemoral (knee cap) compartments. The robotic arm assists in resurfacing the damaged portion of the knee, but prevents damage to the healthy areas.

What happens in robotic partial knee replacement?

Prior to surgery, pre-operative X-rays or CT scans are obtained to generate a 3D model of your knee. This aids in ‘pre-planning’ your knee replacement. During surgery, a computer is used to match the pre-operative plan to your knee, and a robotic arm is used to assist the surgeon in placing the prosthesis in the optimal position.

Is robotic partial knee replacement better than conventional partial knee replacement?

Robotic-assisted partial knee replacement has not been in widespread use for long enough to definitely say it is better than conventional techniques. The Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint Replacement Registry closely follows all knee replacements, with early data suggesting a lower rate of revision with robotically assisted partial knee replacement. That being said, a well performed conventional partial knee replacement should perform equally as well as a robotic-assisted partial knee replacement.

Postoperative care after robotically assisted partial knee replacement

Recovery after robotically assisted partial knee replacement is the same as for conventional partial knee replacement. You can expect to stay in hospital for 1-3 days, and may require crutches or a stick for up to 2 weeks after surgery. It’s important to elevate and ice the knee regularly to reduce swelling, and work on regaining the movement in the knee. A physiotherapist will visit you twice daily whilst in hospital, providing you with exercises to complete after discharge to ensure a faster recovery.

Different types of partial knee replacements

Different types of partial knee replacements

Risks after robotically assisted partial knee replacement

The risks after robotically assisted partial knee replacement are the same as for conventional partial knee replacement

Dr Radic discusses conventional partial knee replacement here  

All surgery, including robotic surgery, involves risks. To discuss your options for robotic partial knee replacement or for any further information please contact Dr Radic to arrange a consultation.

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