Arthritis may not have permanent cure, but new treatment methods are getting better and better in providing long term pain relief. For patients suffering from severe knee pain caused by arthritis, robotic assisted knee replacements may be able to offer pain relief with shorter recovery times and long lasting results.
The success rate in conventional knee replacement surgery is about 90- 95% but with robotic assisted surgeries the accuracy is 100%. To set the records straight here are the things we should know about robotic knee replacement surgery.
- Who is a candidate for robotic knee replacement?
If you are a good candidate for TKR, you are a good candidate for rTKR. Depending on your condition, we recommend less invasive treatments first.
- Life style modifications including weight loss and exercises
- Intra-articular shots
- Physical therapy and knee braces
If you are not able to get relief from these conservative treatment methods TKR may be the answer for your problem.
Traditional TKR implants may last for 20-25 years and traditional TKR is difficult to recommend for the people below 60 years. New procedures like rTKR are starting to change that.
More accurate implant positioning means more and more younger patients may safely undergo TKR and get back to living and active life style. Having said that man made implants don’t last forever.
- Surgery is not performed by ROBOT
One of the most common misconceptions about rTKR is that whole surgery is performed by robot, that is simply not the case, procedure is done by the surgeon and assisted by robotic arm and surgeon is still in control.Technology assist the procedure in other ways too.Before the surgery a CT scan is used to create a 3D model of the patient’s knee. This allows surgeons to more accurately place the implants. During the operation the robotic arm uses data from the 3D model to create a predefined space for the surgeon to work in, preventing him from accidentally damaging surrounding soft tissue.
- Robotic assisted techniques can potentially reduce recovery time
With conventional TKR we allow the patient to resume the normal activities after two weeks. rTKR techniques potentially cut this recovery time.
Small incisions combined with greater surgical precision means that less bone and soft tissue are disturbed, speedingup the body’s natural healing process. rTKR patients can be discharged from the hospital on same day.
- Soft Tissue –Sparing Options
The knee has soft tissue which contains special nerves that send the brain information about how your leg is moving and its position in space. This helps your body with movement, acceleration, balance and more.
In a conventional knee replacement surgery, some amount of soft tissue release and / or sacrifice is needed. While this doesn’t impact pain after surgery, it can impact how an artificial knee feels after recovery.
Soft tissue – sparing knee replacements are recommended for patients who are highly active.
With robotic assisted TKR ligaments and soft tissues are spared maximum.
- Improved accuracy may result in more natural feeling after surgery
Because rTKR techniques allow for greater precision, surgeons can customize knee replacements for each patient’s anatomy
- Experience still matters
State of the art robotic instruments have the potential to improve outcomes for the patients. You will still want to choose orthopedic surgeon who has completed high volume of surgeries with good outcomes
–Dr. Madan Mohan Reddy, Sr. consultant orthopedic surgeon,Robotic knee replacement surgeon
Apollo Hospitals, Chennai.