Understanding the Steps for Robotic Joint Replacement

Understanding the Steps for Robotic Joint Replacement

Severe pain in one of your joints could signal a big problem, such as advanced osteoarthritis. If other treatments haven’t been able to ease your pain, a joint replacement is often the next step.

Joint replacements have come a long way, with surgeons now using robotic technology. This technology allows doctors to perform surgery with a level of precision and customization that wasn’t possible before.

At Metairie Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Metairie, Louisiana, Robert Douglas Bostick III, MD, performs robotic joint surgery for patients who need a partial or total knee replacement.

When is joint replacement surgery considered?

A joint replacement is a procedure in which Dr. Bostick removes damaged areas of your joint and replaces them with prosthetic parts. The prosthetic joint functions just as your natural joint would. Here are the most common reasons people have a joint replaced:

Osteoarthritis

The main reason you might need a joint replacement surgery is because your joint has severe damage from osteoarthritis. 

Osteoarthritis is a progressive condition in which cartilage — which helps protect the ends of bones in joints — wears away. This, then, allows bone to rub against bone, leading to pain and inflammation. 

Other reasons

Although less common than osteoarthritis, there are other reasons someone may need joint replacement surgery. These reasons can include the following:

Joint replacement surgery isn’t done as the first line of treatment. It’s invasive and requires months of recovery, so it’s reserved for severe cases. Dr. Bostick evaluates your pain and joint to determine if robotic joint replacement surgery is the right choice for you.

What’s involved in robotic joint replacement surgery?

With robotic joint replacement surgery, Dr. Bostick controls a robotic arm to perform your procedure. While the robotic arm allows Dr. Bostick to perform the surgery with unparalleled precision and control, it’s important to know that the robotic arm doesn’t perform the surgery on its own. Dr. Bostick controls it the entire time.

The steps for robotic surgery are as follows:

Preparation

Before your procedure, you come in for a preoperative CT scan of your knee. The team uploads the scan into the robotic software, where it makes a 3-D image of your knee joint.

The 3-D map of your knee allows Dr. Bostick to customize your prosthetic devices to your specific anatomy. The robot also uses the image to help Dr. Bostick determine how much bone needs to be removed and where the parts would be best suited within your joint.

Surgery

When you’re ready for surgery, you're first placed under general or spinal anesthesia. Then, Dr. Bostick makes an incision and removes the damaged areas of your knee. As mentioned, the robotic arm allows Dr. Bostick to make the cuts with extreme precision. This allows him to limit the tissue damage around your joint.

Then he places the customized prosthetic devices to restore your joint. The parts are held in place with screws and surgical cement. And, the robotic-assisted technology allows Dr. Bostick to align your joint perfectly.

Recovery

After your procedure, you’ll need to undergo physical therapy to help you adjust to your new joint. But, because of the precision of the robotic technology, the surgery and recovery is typically smoother and quicker than traditional surgery. 

To learn more about robotic joint replacement and to see if it may be able to help you, call 504-541-5800 or book an appointment online with Metairie Orthopedics & Sports Medicine today.

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