In computer-assisted robotic surgery, a robot acts as an extension of the surgeon’s eyes and hands in a minimally invasive surgery to replace an arthritic knee. The robotics help surgeons operate more effectively through a smaller incision.
Total knee replacements are routinely done around with world with a high degree of success. When the replacements do fail, it is generally due to misalignment of the prosthesis. There is only a 3-degree window in which to place the implant appropriately. If the implant is misaligned, it is likely it will eventually become painful and may even loosen. A follow-up revision surgery is necessary to fix this. Many orthopedic surgeons now use robotic guidance systems to assist with removing and resurfacing only the arthritic part of a knee. This technique uses 3D computer mapping and micro-robotics to provide the surgeon with an amazing level of accuracy. The implant can be aligned much more accurately than with the naked eye. It has been shown to be precise to within fractions of a millimeter and assists with the balance of the implant joint.
The robotics are employed through small “minimally invasive” incisions, which result in less scarring and blood loss. Ultimately, the patient can have a shorter hospital stay and recovery period than with a conventional knee replacement.
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Robotic Assistance and Partial Knee Replacement
The use of robotic guidance systems can assist surgeons with removing and resurfacing only the arthritic part of a knee without sacrificing your entire knee joint. This “minimally invasive” procedure is performed through a 2-3 inch incision and allows your surgeon to preserve as much of your natural bone and tissue as possible.
For patients with only unicompartmental osteoarthritis, this can be a good alternative to total knee replacement. As one of the least invasive knee surgeries performed, this procedure offers a smaller incision, less scarring and blood loss, a shorter hospital stay and the ability to return to everyday activities much sooner than with traditional knee replacement surgeries.
The ConforMIS IUni implant is a custom-made minimally invasive partial knee replacement alternative that allows doctors to preserve more of the patient’s ligaments, tendons and cartilage.
With the iUni, doctors only shave about 3 millimeters off the thigh bone and 5 to 6 millimeters off the shin bone, compared with 10 to 12 millimeters off the thigh bone and 10 millimeters off the shin bone for standard sized implants.
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