When conservative treatments, such as physical therapy, medications, or injections, fail to reduce pain and restore function to a damaged joint, it may be time to consider joint replacement surgery. While deciding to have any type of surgery can be difficult, knowing that the odds for achieving pain relief and improved function are in your favor can make the decision easier.
And oftentimes, patients who undergo orthopedic procedures with robotic joint replacement surgery have better outcomes than those with traditional surgery. Though it may feel unsettling to hear that a robot is involved in your surgery, robotic joint replacement surgery describes an approach in which your surgeon performs the procedure with the help of robotic technology and remains in control of your treatment the entire time.
Orthopedic surgeon Robert Douglas Bostick III, MD, and the team at Metairie Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Metairie, Louisiana, have the special training and expertise necessary to utilize robotic technology to safely and effectively replace damaged knee joints. In this blog, Dr. Bostick explains what’s involved in robotic surgery and if it may be able to help you.
Understanding robotic joint replacement surgery
When traditional knee replacement surgery is performed, damaged knee bone and cartilage are removed or resurfaced. The damaged tissue is replaced with an artificial joint, called a prosthetic.
When damage or disease is limited to one portion of your knee, you may benefit from a partial, or unicompartmental, knee replacement that replaces the damaged section and leaves the healthy section of the joint intact.
Robotic joint replacement surgery accomplishes these same procedures with the assistance of a robotic arm. The difference is that using robotics can help the surgeon perform the procedures with more accuracy and precision, a benefit that can facilitate a more customized surgical plan and improve surgical outcomes.
The advantages of robotic joint replacement surgery
Robot-assisted surgery has many advantages over traditional surgery, including the following:
Planning the surgery
The advantage of using robotic technology to replace joints begins during the planning stage for your surgery. During this time, Dr. Bostick uses the robot to create a 3-D model of your affected bone.
Working with a 3-D model helps Dr. Bostick produce a customized surgical plan and determine the correct joint replacement size and placement. This allows for consideration of your unique anatomy, which includes assessing the affected soft tissue before Dr. Bostick makes any cuts.
Using the robot, Dr. Bostick also performs a virtual run-through before conducting the surgery. This is an opportunity to modify the surgical plan before surgery as needed, allowing the procedure to occur more efficiently and precisely.
Performing the surgery
With robotic technology, Dr. Bostick can often make smaller incisions than those needed with traditional surgery. This ensures that Dr. Bostick can preserve as much of your healthy tissue and bone as possible.
Furthermore, robotic joint replacement surgery allows for more precise placement of the artificial joint. And, with a more accurate placement, patients can enjoy fewer complications, faster recovery times, and more comfort than typically occurs with a traditional joint replacement.
Candidates for robotic joint replacement surgery
Most patients who are eligible for traditional joint replacement surgery can also benefit from robotic joint replacement surgery.
However, there are many factors that Dr. Bostick considers in determining whether to recommend robotic joint replacement surgery over a traditional approach. Characteristics, such as your diet, age, lifestyle, and the severity of your condition, can affect whether robotic joint replacement surgery is the most appropriate surgical option.
The source of your joint damage is also considered in your eligibility for robotic joint replacement surgery. The technique is often used to treat joints damaged from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteonecrosis.
To learn more about robotic joint replacement surgery and whether it’s the right option for your joint issue, call 504-541-5800 or book an appointment online with Metairie Orthopedics & Sports Medicine today.