ROBOTIC KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGERY
The knee is a hardworking joint. While you're walking, crouching, or even standing still, your knee depends on a well-tuned system of bones, ligaments, cartilage, muscles, and nerves. If an injury, arthritis, or another condition affects any of the parts of your knee, you may need a knee replacement surgery.
Precision is vital in these procedures. The more exact a surgeon's measurement tools, the better they can plan and perform your surgery.
A robotic knee replacement is similar to a traditional knee replacement. Your surgeon removes damaged tissue in your knee and replaces it with an artificial joint. The difference is that it's done with assistance from a robotic arm or handheld robotic device (depending on the robotic system used for your surgery).
Robotic-assisted knee replacement surgery is five times better compared with conventional surgery. The angle of the knee joint is another key factor in the success of the procedure, and robotic techniques are about five times as accurate than manual surgery.
Robotic-assisted procedures allow for greater precision and can lead to shorter recovery times and better results. In more complex cases, a robotic-assisted knee replacement offers a better balance in the soft tissues around your knee, and better aligns the joint. If you're having a robotic-assisted knee replacement surgery, you don't have to prepare any differently than you would for a conventional surgery.
Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Total Knee replacement is a treatment option for adults living with mid to late-stage osteoarthritis of the knee.
How robotic-assisted knee replacement works
The Mako system:
It uses specific scans of your knee before surgery to get precise measurements of your knee.
It takes a slightly different approach to helping your surgeon follow your surgical plan.
Before a Mako knee replacement surgery, you’ll get specialized CAT scans that create a 3-D image of your knee joint, bone structure, and surrounding tissues. This detailed picture helps your surgeon plan every step of your surgery. Cuts can be made with precision to the millimeter, picking the right implant size and positioning.
At the beginning of a Mako surgery, your surgeon will use tracking pins to help the robot confirm that it received correct size and positioning information from your CAT scans. Then, the Mako arm positions itself and your surgeon uses the hand-held tool to perform your knee replacement. The tool will guide the surgeon throughout the procedure, enhancing their experience and skills.
Who is a Candidate for Robotic Knee Replacement?
Robotic knee replacements are ideal for even the most complex knee joint disease. This includes patients who have:
Deformities in the femur after an injury
Hardware from previous surgeries
What are the Advantages of Robotic Knee Replacement Surgery?
There are several advantages of robotic-assisted knee replacement surgery when compared with traditional surgery. Advantages include:
Enhanced surgical planning. Depending on the robotic option that is right for you, specialized 3-D images are taken in preparation for or during surgery. These images help your surgeon more accurately plan the optimal type and placement of your replacement joint to ensure the right size and fit.
Greater precision. Robotic technologies enhance your orthopaedic surgeon’s expertise for more precise planning, tissue removal and implant placement. This can cause faster recovery times, fewer complications and a lower likelihood of revision surgery.
More ligament-sparing options. With the added precision and accuracy from the robotic-assisted knee replacement system, ligament-sparing total knee replacement surgery is available to more patients than ever before.
Traditional vs. Robotic Surgery for Knee Replacements
Robotic-assisted knee replacement surgery is not done by a robot alone. Instead, it acts as a guide, helping your surgeon follow the plan laid out in advance.
Like during traditional surgery, your orthopaedic surgeon is in control, however, they use the robot as an additional surgical tool. The robot enhances your surgeon’s skills during all stages of your surgery to help deliver the best possible outcomes.
Robotic Knee Replacement Recovery Process
Robotic joint replacement uses more precise incisions and helps achieve optimal positioning, which may lead to a better and faster recovery.
After your surgery, your surgeon and the rest of your care team will monitor your progress, help to relieve discomfort, and chart a course for your at-home recovery.
Recovery and Rehabilitation After Knee Replacement
No matter what type of knee replacement you have, we'll get you started on a rehabilitation plan that's designed exclusively for you. Our goal is to make recovery from traditional and robotic knee replacements as easy as possible to improve your quality of life and long-term mobility.
Immediately Following Knee Replacement
Our ultimate goal after knee replacement surgery is to restore your independence, get you home safely and make sure that you have assistance at home.
After surgery, we will move you to the recovery room, where you'll stay for one to three hours. Your nurses will connect you to several machines — pain pumps, drains and urinary catheters, for example — and closely monitor your vital signs.
After your knee replacement surgery, you will be encouraged to get up and move as soon as it is practical and safe and depending on how you are feeling. Our orthopaedic recovery team will assist you in walking short distances with crutches or a walking frame. The sooner you can start moving, the fewer complications you may face in your recovery.
Preparing for Home and Rehab after Knee Surgery
On the day you go home, we will prepare you with all of the information and direction you'll need during recovery, including:
Required follow-up visits
Restrictions (i.e., no driving, working or showering)
Your therapist will make sure you're correctly using your walker or crutches so that you're comfortable and not in danger. How often and for how long you need therapy depends on your specific needs.