Robotic joint replacement surgery has been trending across the medical community in the last few years and is an example of how technology is transforming the way hip or knee replacements are being performed. The recent addition of the Mako robotic knee replacement system to both my London and Bristol knee clinics offers patients a number of advantages, including a potentially shortened recovery process.
In a nutshell, the Mako system converts a CT scan of a knee joint into a 3D map, which the surgeon can use to map out a plan of action. Then – with the use of a robotic arm – the surgeon can conduct the procedure with optimal precision, while the system ensures any work is done within the parameters already mapped out.
Naturally, the system is being welcomed by many professionals, as it could potentially take a lot of guesswork out of the procedure and reduce the risk of human error. And those advantages are passed onto the patients; experts claim that recovery times after a Mako procedure could shorten by as much as 30 percent, with a reduced risk of post-op infections and complications, and therefore a similar reduction in requiring a secondary, revision procedure.
While computerised and robot-assisted orthopaedic surgery is a relatively new development, it’s clear that is going to part of the future of joint replacement surgery, so let’s discuss what this all means for knee OA patients – particularly regarding the recovery period.
In the immediate aftermath of surgery, the patient experience will not differ – you will be encouraged to walk with crutches, given advice by a physio on your rehab exercises and by the nursing team on how to manage your wound, and then will be discharged from hospital.
However, experts predict that the Mako system will really come into its own in the secondary phase of your recovery, due to what happened during the procedure. So, let’s break down the potential positives…
Robotic knee replacement: less of an area to rehab
Because the Mako system ensures that the bare minimum area of the affected knee is operated on, with decreased trauma to the soft tissue and bone, there is obviously less of the knee which needs to mend. That – in theory – means that the recovery time is shortened.
In a recent clinical study, Mako patients reported lower pain scores six months after their surgery than those who underwent a traditional joint replacement procedure.
Robotic knee replacement: a greater opportunity for a partial replacement
A partial knee replacement can preserve healthy anterior cruciate and posterior cruciate ligaments, meaning they end up with a more ‘natural’ joint which is far easier to get along with, speeding up the recovery time dramatically.
Robotic knee replacement: guaranteed bespoke service
In theory, the greater precision in diagnosis offered by the Mako system will allow surgeons to plan procedures in greater detail – and the fact that the system prevents surgeons from straying out of the pre-set parameters means that the healthy parts of the knee aren’t affected, meaning a reduced risk of complications.
For more advice on what to expect from a Mako robotic knee replacement, call 08450 60 44 99 to arrange a consultation at my Bristol clinic and 0203 195 2443 for patients interested in undergoing surgery in London.