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The New Frontier: Robots Hone Their Surgical Skills

Is robotic-assisted joint replacement right for you?

For some portion of the population the idea of robots performing surgery still seems futuristic and perhaps frightening. For orthopaedic surgeons and their patients, however, robots possess skills beyond those of mere mortals. The precision of robotic hands, controlled by human knowledge and directions, is extraordinary, leading to improved accuracy and increased positive outcomes. Innovative surgeons have been using robotic joint replacement for years, and the techniques associated with the process are constantly improving. If you are contemplating joint replacement surgery, it is important to investigate robotic-assisted options which may give you an advantage in effective treatment and more rapid healing in the short-term and make for greater ease of revision, should it become necessary, in the future. Currently, robotic technology is most commonly used with partial knee replacements and full knee and hip replacements.

The Advantages of Robotic-Assisted Surgery

For those to whom the concept of mechanical beings taking over the world is threatening, it is a relief to know that robots never operate without human supervision. Though they don’t work independently, they are obedient and efficient assistants. They help their human masters with:

  • Presurgical planning — Using 3D imaging, they help to ensure correct sizing and positioning of implants to work with each patient’s unique anatomy.
  • Controlling certain surgical tools — Robotic arms are capable of positioning instruments, such as saw blades used in total knee replacements, with extreme precision. Because the robotic arm programs the tool so that it can only operate in one place, it prevents the surgeon from going outside the designated dimensions.

A growing body of evidence suggests that robotic joint surgery offers advantages over non-robotic procedures. Because surgeons have been using robots in partial knee replacements for a longer time, there is more available data on these procedures. This data  suggests that robotic partial knee replacements fail less frequently than standard partial knee replacements. Although this advanced technology has only recently been adapted for use in total knee replacements and hip replacements, knowledgeable orthopaedic surgeons are optimistic.

Look Forward to Faster Recoveries

The fact that robotic-assisted surgery allows a more customized approach allows the surgeon to individualize what used to be standard procedures, taking into account the unique aspects of each patient’s anatomy. This not only makes for a higher rate of immediate success and long-term durability; it enables the patient to recover more quickly. If you are considering knee or hip replacement surgery seek out an orthopaedic surgeon at the forefront of robotic-assisted surgery, one who specializes in these parts of the body, for the best possible results.

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