Robotic-arm-assisted orthopedic surgery

Robotic-arm-assisted orthopedic surgery is used for partial and total knee replacements, as well as total hip replacements. 

Robotic-arm-assisted orthopedic surgery is now available at Mayo Clinic Health System in Red Wing. This next-level technology ensures better precision and the best possible outcomes for patients.

Robotic-arm-assisted orthopedic surgery is used for partial and total knee replacements, as well as total hip replacements. This advanced surgical tool provides two main advantages. 

First, surgeons are able to align the implant and match it more precisely to the patient’s anatomy. One of the most difficult aspects of joint replacement surgery is placing the individual components of the artificial joint in the best possible alignment so they will mesh together and work smoothly. 

The robotic arm provides tactile, visual and auditory feedback to help the surgeon achieve the desired orientation, which can enhance stability and mobility.

Second, it allows surgeons to remove less bone. Together with alignment and more precise cuts, this advanced technology provides better outcomes and quicker recovery for patients. 

Some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from patients who want to know more about this option include:

Who qualifies for robotic surgery?

Unless the knee or hip is especially damaged from injury or arthritis, most patients are candidates for this surgery. For an increasing number of patients, this is a same-day surgery, followed by recovery at home.

Does a robot do the surgery?

No, the surgeon still performs the surgery with the assistance of a computer-controlled robotic arm.

How does it work?

Before surgery, a CT scan is obtained of the ankle, knee and hip. The data from the scan is fed into the computer, creating precise 3-D representation along with measurements of angles, rotations, soft tissue and bone so the surgeon can position the components and make any adjustments virtually on the screen. 

Once surgery is underway, the robotic arm controls the direction of the bone cuts to an accuracy of 0.5 millimeter and protects tissue around the cuts, according to the plan on the computer screen. The goal is to give patients a joint that feels as close to their natural knee or hip as possible. 

What are the benefits of robotic surgery?

The accuracy and consistency of the robotic arm, which is more precise than the human eye, decreases soft tissue damage and allows the surgeon to position the implant for the best function, stability, range of motion, less pain and quicker recovery.

What is the role of the patient?

As with traditional joint replacement, the patient and surgeon are partners in reaching the patient's goals and overall satisfaction with the results. For the patient, this may include physical therapy before surgery. As with all total joint surgeries, the patient is still responsible for working to reduce swelling, rebuild strength and regain range of motion.

Patients who are eligible for this innovative surgery should discuss options with their orthopedic surgeon.

For more information, call 651-977-6335 or request an online appointment at Mayo Clinic Health System in Red Wing. 

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