At Texas Joint Institute, we are proud to be leaders in bone and joint care. We use cutting-edge technology to provide exceptional treatment and improve patient outcomes. Our highly skilled specialists are dedicated to delivering personalized and precise care. One of the groundbreaking techniques we specialize in is robotic-assisted knee replacement surgery. This advanced approach combines the expertise of our surgeons with robotic technology, resulting in positive outcomes for our patients. At Texas Joint Institute, we're excited to be a part of your journey and offer you the advantages of robotically-assisted knee replacement surgery. You can rely on us to support you every step of the way.
Understanding the anatomy of a knee joint
The knee joint is a complex hinge joint that connects the thigh bone (femur) to the shinbone (tibia). It consists of three main compartments: the medial compartment, the lateral compartment and the patellofemoral compartment.
The ends of the bones are covered with smooth cartilage, which facilitates smooth movement and acts as a shock absorber. Ligaments provide stability to the joint and the muscles surrounding the knee joint enable movement and support. Understanding the anatomy of the knee joint is crucial for comprehending the purpose and benefits of robotic knee replacement surgery.
What is robotic knee replacement?
Robotic knee replacement is a surgical technique that combines the expertise and knowledge of an orthopedic surgeon with the precision and guidance of automated technology. During the procedure, the surgeon utilizes a robotic system that assists in planning and executing the surgery with high accuracy.
The surgeon controls the robotic arm and provides real-time feedback, allowing for precise bone cuts, implant positioning and ligament balancing. This technology enhances the surgeon's ability to achieve optimal alignment and balance, improving outcomes and patient satisfaction.
Types of robotic-assisted knee replacements
The following are the different types of robotic-assisted knee replacement surgeries. It’s important to acquaint yourself with each one to know which one would be the most suited for you and what to expect.
Robotic total knee replacement
Robotic total knee replacement involves replacing the entire knee joint with artificial components. It is typically performed for patients with extensive damage or arthritis affecting the entire knee joint.
Robotic partial knee replacement
Robotic partial knee replacement, also known as unicompartmental knee replacement, involves replacing only the affected compartment of the knee joint. It is suitable for patients with localized knee joint damage, usually limited to one compartment.
Robotic unicompartmental knee replacement
Robotic unicompartmental knee replacement is a variation of partial knee replacement that focuses on replacing a single compartment of the knee joint. It is a minimally invasive option for patients with isolated compartmental knee joint damage, offering faster recovery and preservation of healthy tissues.
Indications for robotic knee replacement
If you are suffering from any degenerative knee diseases like osteoarthritis, then robotic-assisted knee replacement is indicated. It’s possible for your doctor to recommend surgery if you have undergone non-surgical treatment options but failed to relieve your symptoms.
Age and activity level
Robotic knee replacement can benefit patients of various ages, but surgeons typically recommend it for individuals who have experienced a decline in knee joint function and are experiencing pain and limited mobility. Doctors also consider activity level, as it can impact the long-term success of the surgery.
Severity and localization of joint damage
The extent and location of the knee joint damage are crucial factors. Robotic knee replacement can be a solution for patients with moderate to severe joint damage that affects the quality of life and is unresponsive to conservative treatments.
Body weight and BMI
Patients with higher body weight or BMI may be at increased risk during surgery and during the recovery period. The surgeon will assess these factors and discuss the potential risks and benefits of robotic knee replacement accordingly.
Joint deformity and alignment
Robotic knee replacement can correct joint deformities and improve alignment. Patients with joint deformities or misalignments that cause pain or instability may be candidates for this surgical approach.
Muscular strength and flexibility
The strength and flexibility of the muscles around the knee joint are essential for successful recovery. Patients with adequate muscular strength and flexibility generally have better surgical outcomes and are suitable candidates for robotic knee replacement.
Common knee conditions treated with robotic surgery
Robotic-assisted joint replacement surgery has successfully addressed various knee conditions. With the precision and customization offered by robotic technology, our surgeons can effectively treat the following conditions:
- Osteoarthritis: The most common form of arthritis, characterized by the degeneration of joint cartilage over time.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: A chronic inflammatory condition that affects the joints, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness.
- Post-Traumatic arthritis: Arthritis that develops after a knee injury or trauma, leading to joint degeneration.
- Degenerative joint disease: A general term for the progressive loss of cartilage in the knee joint, resulting in pain and limited mobility.
- Failed previous joint replacement: Individuals who have undergone a previous knee replacement surgery may require a revision procedure due to implant failure or complications.
- Corrective surgeries for joint deformities: Robotic-assisted surgery can help correct knee deformities like bowlegs or knock knees.
- Revision surgeries for implant failure: In cases where a previous knee replacement has failed, robotic-assisted surgery can be used to revise or replace the implant.
- Complex joint conditions: Some knee conditions, such as severe deformities or complex cases, can benefit from the precision and customization offered by robotic-assisted surgery.
- Other knee disorders: Robotic-assisted joint replacement can be used to treat various other knee disorders, including cartilage damage, meniscal tears, and ligament injuries.
What are the advantages of robotic knee replacement surgery?
Undergoing robotic knee replacement surgery has benefits for the patient, including smaller incisions, reduced injury, more accuracy, faster recovery and more. Learn the different benefits in-depth here.
Enhanced precision and accuracy
The robotic system provides real-time feedback and assists the surgeon in achieving precise bone cuts, implant positioning and ligament balancing. This enhanced precision can lead to improved alignment, stability and overall function of the knee joint.
Customized surgical planning
Robotic technology allows for detailed pre-operative planning based on the patient's specific anatomy. This customization enables the surgeon to create a personalized surgical plan, resulting in better implant fit and alignment.
Minimally invasive approach
Robotic knee replacement surgery can often use smaller incisions than traditional surgery. This minimally invasive approach may lead to less tissue damage, reduced scarring and a faster recovery.
Reduced trauma to surrounding tissues
The robotic system's accuracy helps minimize trauma to surrounding tissues, such as muscles and ligaments. By preserving healthy tissues, patients may experience less pain, reduced blood loss and a shorter hospital stay.
Faster recovery and rehabilitation
Robotic knee replacement surgery, with its enhanced precision and minimally invasive approach, may contribute to a faster recovery and rehabilitation process. Patients often experience less post-operative pain and can resume their daily activities sooner.
Traditional vs. robotic surgery for knee replacements
Traditional knee replacement surgery and robotic-assisted knee replacement surgery are different in the level of precision and guidance provided to the surgeon. Traditional surgery relies on manual techniques, while robotic surgery uses robotic technology to assist the surgeon. Robotic surgery also provides enhanced precision, customization and the potential for better surgical outcomes compared to traditional techniques.
How to prepare for robotic knee replacement
The preparation for robotic knee replacement surgery involves several steps:
- Consultation with the orthopedic surgeon: The surgeon will evaluate your medical history, conduct a physical examination and order any necessary pre-operative tests.
- Education and pre-operative instructions: You will receive instructions on what to do before the surgery, such as fasting requirements and medication adjustments. You may also be advised to engage in exercises or physical therapy to optimize your knee joint function before the procedure.
- Lifestyle adjustments: It is important to make necessary arrangements for your post-operative recovery, such as arranging transportation, preparing your home environment and ensuring you have assistance during the initial stages of recovery.
What to expect during robotically-assisted knee replacement surgery
During the robotically-assisted knee replacement surgery, you can expect the following:
- Anesthesia: You will be given anesthesia to make sure you are comfortable and feeling any types of pain throughout the procedure. The type of anesthesia used will be discussed with your anesthesiologist beforehand.
- Incision and robotic arm placement: The surgeon will make a small incision to access the knee joint. The robotic arm will be positioned to assist the surgeon in the precise execution of the procedure.
- Robotic guidance: The surgeon will utilize the robotic system to perform precise bone cuts, implant placement and ligament balancing. The robotic arm provides real-time feedback, assisting the surgeon throughout the surgery.
- Implantation and closure: After removing the damaged joint surfaces, the artificial components will be carefully implanted. The incision will then be closed, typically with sutures or staples.
Post-operative recovery and rehabilitation
After robotically-assisted knee replacement surgery, post-operative recovery and rehabilitation play a crucial role in optimizing outcomes. The following aspects are important during this phase:
We will employ pain management strategies to ensure your comfort during the initial stages of recovery. Our team may prescribe a combination of oral and intravenous medications to control pain and inflammation.
Physical therapy is a vital component of the recovery process. A physical therapist will guide you through exercises and movements to improve strength, range of motion, and functional knee joint mobility.
Home care instructions
You will receive specific instructions on wound care, medication management and activity modifications during your recovery at home. It is important to follow these instructions to promote proper healing and minimize the risk of complications.
Risks & complications of robotic-assisted knee replacement
Robotic-assisted knee replacement surgery carries certain risks and complications, like any surgical procedure. These can include infection, blood clots, bleeding, nerve or blood vessel damage, implant failure and allergic reactions. However, the overall risk profile of robotic knee replacement surgery is comparable to traditional knee replacement surgery. Discussing these potential risks with your surgeon and understanding the steps taken to minimize them is essential.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does the recovery from robotic-assisted knee replacement surgery take?
The recovery time will depend on several factors, like the patient's healing capacity and adherence to rehabilitation protocols. Generally, most patients can expect a significant improvement in the first few weeks, with complete recovery and a return to normal activities within several months.
How long will I need to use assistive devices after robotic knee replacement surgery?
The duration of assistive device use, such as crutches or a walker, will depend on your progress and your surgeon's and physical therapist's guidance. Typically, patients transition to a cane or no assistive devices within a few weeks to a few months after surgery.
What types of physical therapy will I need after robotic-assisted knee replacement surgery?
Physical therapy after robotic-assisted knee replacement surgery usually includes exercises to improve the range of motion, strengthen the muscles around the knee and regain functional mobility. Your physical therapist will design a tailored program based on your needs and goals.
How long does a robotic knee replacement last?
Robotic knee replacements have the potential to last for several decades. However, the longevity of the implant can depend on various factors, including patient age, activity level, implant design and adherence to post-operative care and maintenance.
Can robotic knee replacement surgery be performed on both knees simultaneously?
Doctors can consider simultaneous bilateral knee replacement (both knees at the same time) in some instances. However, the decision depends on factors such as overall health, surgeon recommendation and individual preferences. Your surgeon will assess your specific situation to determine the most appropriate approach.
What are the potential risks and complications of robotic-assisted knee replacement surgery?
Potential risks and complications include infection, blood clots, bleeding, nerve or blood vessel damage, implant failure and allergic reactions. However, remember that the overall risk profile of robotic-assisted knee replacement surgery is similar to traditional knee replacement surgery. Here at Texas Joint Institute, you’re in the hands of well-experienced surgeons who do their best to keep potential risks as minimal as possible.
When can I return to normal daily activities after robotic knee replacement surgery?
The timeline for returning to normal activities can vary among patients. Generally, most individuals can resume light daily activities, such as driving and desk work, within a few weeks. However, more strenuous activities and sports may need to be avoided or gradually reintroduced following the guidance of your surgeon and physical therapist.
How much does robotic knee surgery cost?
The cost of robotic knee surgery can vary depending on the hospital, surgeon, location, insurance coverage and specific procedure requirements. Consult with your healthcare provider and insurance company to understand the potential costs.
Plan your robotic-assisted knee replacement surgery at Texas Joint Institute
At Texas Joint Institute, we always make sure you get the best experience before, during, and after your robotic-assisted knee replacement surgery. We have renowned specialists that are at the forefront of joint repair, providing exceptional care for even the most complex cases. We the most effective robotic-assisted knee replacement techniques that minimize trauma and accelerate recovery through the use of state-of-the-art technology. Our professional team is devoted to helping you regain mobility and enhance your quality of life, focusing on compassionate and personalized care. Contact us today at (972) 566-5255 to schedule a consultation and experience the unparalleled expertise of Texas Joint Institute.