What is Robotic Knee Replacement Surgery?
Robotic knee replacement surgery is a procedure used to replace the damaged knee joint with an artificial joint with the aid of a robotic arm. Robotic surgery can be a minimally invasive and quick surgery that is associated with fewer complications.
Also, the recovery rate and patient compliance are better in robotic knee replacement surgery than in traditional open knee replacement surgery. It is indicated for people with advanced osteoarthritis of knees, deformities, injuries, etc.
Alternate Name of Robotic Knee Replacement Surgery
Robotic-Assisted Knee Arthroplasty
How is Robotic Knee Replacement Surgery Performed?
Robotic knee replacement surgery is performed under anaesthesia and sedation so that you don’t feel any pain or sensation.
Your doctor will make small incisions and control the movements of the robotic arm that are video-assisted with a camera to display the surgery on screen. With the aid of the various instruments used through the robotic arm, the damaged joint/tissue is removed and replaced with the artificial joint. Joint replacement could be partial or total.
Partial knee replacement: If the knee joint is partially damaged either from the medial (inside) or lateral (outside), only the specific part of the joint is replaced with the artificial joint.
Robotic total knee replacement: In case of total knee damage, the whole of the knee is replaced with an artificial joint.
- Before the surgery, your doctor will advise you to undergo specific blood tests such as complete blood count, coagulation tests, etc. For people with advanced age and certain conditions, a pre-anaesthesia check might also be required to assess the suitability for the surgery. Your surgeon will also order imaging tests such as X-ray, CT-scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), etc., to assess the severity of the joint damage and inflammation.
- You need to avoid eating at least 6-8 hours before the surgery. It would help if you did not consume alcohol for a few days before the surgery. Reach the hospital at least 4-6 hours in advance as you will be kept under observation before the surgery.
Follow-ups with your surgeon are crucial to monitor recovery and assess the need for any additional interventions. You will be given painkillers and antibiotics to manage the pain and prevent any infection at the incision site following the surgery. Make sure to take all the pills as prescribed.
Physical activity is crucial for quick recovery and better joint health. It would be best if you started with a slow walk and then could increase the speed and duration of the walk. Avoid strenuous activities such as cycling, running, weight lifting, or jogging while in recovery mode. It would help if you discussed your post-surgery physical activity routine with your surgeon.
Risks For Robotic Knee Replacement Surgery
Robotic knee replacement surgery is more accurate and specific compared to traditional surgery. However, the following are risks associated with the robotic surgery as well:
- Infection: Infection could occur at the site of incisions and might require antibiotic treatment.
- Damage to adjoining tissues: While the robotic arm has regulated movements, damage to adjoining tissues, nerves, etc., could lead to swelling or blood loss.
- With robotic knee replacement surgery, blood clot formation, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, etc., could also occur.
Recovery From Robotic Knee Replacement Surgery
Recovery will depend upon your age, body weight, nutrition, and physical activity. Usually, recovery following the robotic knee replacement surgery is quick and complication-free. However, you should look for any signs of infection or if you experience unbearable pain or problem while walking, seek immediate medical attention. You should ensure proper follow-ups with your surgeon as per the schedule to assess the anticipated progress. In addition, you will be undergoing physical therapy (physiotherapy) for better joint movement and quicker recovery. Ensure to complete the physical therapy program as per the schedule. Take your medications and supplements as prescribed by your doctor.
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