Joint Replacement- Precision matters the most
By: Dr Ramneek Mahajan
Why Knee replacement? – Knee replacement surgery is a treatment for pain and disability in the knee. The most common condition that results in the need for knee replacement surgery is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is characterized by the breakdown of joint cartilage.
Damage to the cartilage and bones limits movement and may cause pain. People with severe degenerative joint disease may be unable to do normal activities that involve bending at the knee, such as walking or climbing stairs, because they are painful. The knee may swell or “give-way” because the joint is not stable.
The goal of knee replacement surgery is to resurface the parts of the knee joint that have been damaged and to relieve knee pain that cannot be controlled by other treatments. In determining whether a knee replacement is right for you, an orthopaedic surgeon assesses your knee’s range of motion, stability and strength. X-rays help determine the extent of damage.
Now, with an advancement of technology and innovation- Robotic joint replacement surgery is a new and exciting option for those needing hip or knee replacements. This new technology revolutionizes the way we think about joint replacement surgeries.
Using robots to increase precision and accuracy during surgeries, results in shorter hospital stays, less pain and scarring, quicker recoveries, and improved outcomes for patients. The extra precision enabled by the robotic assisted technology should also prevent surgeons having to do redo hip and knee replacement operations that don’t work out the first time.
Myth -Robot will perform the surgery independently, but the actual fact, at no point the robot performs the surgery independently. It only assists the surgeon to perform the surgery with precision. It helps in creating precise bone cuts and implant alignment for patients Without the surgeon’s guidance, the robot cannot either move or make its own decisions.
Robotic joint replacement surgery is procedure that can be performed with minimal incisions, resulting in minimal scarring. It is performed using a computer-like electronic operating station where the surgeon operates a specialized camera and robotic arms to carry out the operation. Before the surgery, a CT scan is used to produce a 3D model of the patient’s knee.
This helps the surgeon plan the surgery and also place the implant with the utmost accuracy. During the surgery, the robotic arm is used to precisely make cuts which are first planned on basis of 3D reconstructed CT images obtained pre surgery, as it works in designated safe boundary under control of surgeon holding the robotic arm it protects the surrounding tissue from unintentional damage. The surgery usually takes less than two hours for both knee joint and patients can typically go home in a day or two.
In Max SMART Super Speciality, Saket, MAKO system uses Triathlon Knee System (Stryker) which has 99.7% survivorship, rapid abandonment of crutches, lesser Anterior Knee pain and reduction in physiotherapy sessions. Robotic surgery preserves all the natural structures of the joint (less tissue damage), ensures minimal pain and early recovery
(The author is Senior Director and Head, Joint Replacement unit (Knee and Hip), Max SMART Super Specialty Hospital, Saket , New Delhi)