Since its introduction in the 1960s, joint replacement surgery has helped millions of patients regain their mobility. Over the years, technology has enhanced the techniques used to carry out the procedure. Robotic joint replacements are the latest technique used by surgeons around the globe. The question is, how does robotic joint replacement compare to traditional techniques?
Here, you will learn more about traditional and robotic joint replacements, and which technique is better for patients.
What is a traditional joint replacement?
Traditional or conventional joint replacements involve open surgery, where the worn surfaces of the joint will be replaced with artificial structures. These are made from a combination of materials, including metals, plastic and ceramic.
The procedure has a good success rate, though there are some risks and complications to be aware of. Some of the main complications include wound infection, Prosthesis malfunction, and blood clotting. Your surgeon will discuss the risks with you during a consultation. There is no evidence that the robotic assisted approach increases the risk of any of the complications.
How is a robotic joint replacement different?
Robotic joint replacement follows the exact same procedure as a traditional replacement. However, it allows more accurate planning the surgeon gains the advantage of robotic arm assistance, to allow more accurate implantation. The surgeon oversees the procedure, so it isn’t controlled by the robot which some patients can be concerned about. Prior to the surgery, a CT scan will be carried out. This will be used to produce a 3D model of the joint.
The benefits of robotic joint replacement over traditional methods
While the surgeon is still in control during a robotic joint replacement, there are unique benefits the technology delivers. The main benefits include:
- Increased accuracy
- Reduces injury to healthy tissue
- Customised to each patient
- Better outcomes
The MAKO robotic assisted technique which Mr Bridle uses involves the patient’s joint being digitally modelled in 3D in the robot from the CT. This means surgery can be visualised and planned, based on each patient’s unique anatomy.
The robotic assistance allows orthopaedic surgeons to perform hip surgery with greater accuracy. Studies have shown that the robotic procedure matches leg length five times better than conventional surgery. The angle of the joint also plays a major role in the success of the procedure. Robotic surgery has been shown to be twice as accurate as manual surgery. We hope that improved accuracy will allow the joint to function more normally and prolong the lifespan of the replacement.
With knee replacements the surgeon is able to adjust the position of the components to get the best fit and balance during the surgery and the robotic assistance allows very accurate bone cuts. Throughout the surgery, the robotic arm uses data taken from the CT scan to create space for the surgeon to operate in preventing accidental damage to nearby tissues. A well aligned, well balanced knee is reliably achieved, there is good evidence that patients get over the surgery more quickly and that a better functioning knee is achieved.
Mr Bridle offers both robotic hip and knee replacements and has currently performed more than 100 robotic hip replacement surgeries. Renowned for its high success rate and improved recovery, robotic surgery is fast replacing traditional methods. If you do have an option to undergo robot assisted over traditional surgery, you should take it.
Call 020 8947 9524 to discover whether a robot assisted joint replacement surgery could be right for you.