Knee surgery can now be performed using robotic technology.
It involves creating a 3D model of your knee using a CT scan and computer software prior to the surgery. This is used to guide the procedure, ensuring an individualized, better-positioned fit during a joint replacement. With the assistance of a state-of-the-art robotic arm, this technique allows your orthopedic surgeon better access to the knee joint, as the robotic instruments can much more nimbly move and bend within the close confines of the knee joint during the procedure.
These advancements include the use of minimally invasive approaches, in which incisions are smaller, with less cutting through of nearby muscles and other tissues – all of which results in less pain, scarring, and a speedier rehabilitation for patients.
What Robotic Knee Surgery is Used For
Often performed as an outpatient procedure, robotic knee surgery is most often used to replace bone and cartilage of the knee due to osteoarthritis. Also known as degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis is a type of wear-and-tear arthritis that involves the gradual breakdown of cartilage that cushions the ends of bones, which keeps them from rubbing against each other and causing joint pain and stiffness.
Osteoarthritis is a very common condition, especially among adults over the age of 60. A partial knee replacement surgery with robotic assistance may be used to treat advanced osteoarthritis that is limited to a single area of the knee.
Partial knee replacement can relieve the pain and repair the damage of arthritis in one or two of the three compartments of the knee:
- Medial compartment – inside part of the knee joint
- Lateral compartment – outside part of the knee joint
- Patellofemoral compartment – front of the knee, between the kneecap and thigh bone
In a partial knee replacement (also called “unicompartmental” knee replacement), just the damaged area of the knee is removed and replaced with a prosthesis – which helps preserve the patient’s remaining healthy bone and tissue.
Basically, many conditions requiring a partial knee replacement may be performed with the assistance of robotic technology. This includes knee pain due to trauma or other acute injuries, or minor deformity of the knee. Some autoimmune disorders such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis can break down cartilage and require a joint replacement.
Not everyone is a good candidate for robotic knee surgery. Your orthopedic doctor will make an assessment based on your medical history and physical condition. For example, certain neuromuscular disorders, insufficient bone strength, and excessive body weight may indicate options other than knee replacement surgery may be called for.
Find out whether you are a good candidate for robotic knee surgery. Request an appointment online to see if you’re an eligible candidate or call Movement Orthopedics’ Clinton Township office today at (586) 436-3785.