The knee replacement is the ultimate treatment for osteoarthritis. But have you heard of the revolutionary robot that may be set to change the surgery forever?
A knee replacement is extremely effective treatment in the case of severe wear and tear of the knee and insufficient improvement of the complaints with pain medication, exercise or injections. During the procedure, the damaged cartilage is removed and replaced by a new metal cover which is around nine millimeters thick. This knee prosthesis is affixed to the thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia) using a type of bone glue or cement. Long term results demonstrate that in 95% of cases current implants are effective for fifteen years and 85% for 20 years. This means the knee replacement will last most patients for the rest of their lives. Nevertheless, not all patients are unequivocally happy with their replaced knee. Some patients suffer residual pain and swelling or have a feeling of instability. The position of the knee implant must be specifically tailored to each patient’s unique anatomy. This is a key factor for having good outcomes in knee replacement surgery.
Robotic-arm assisted knee replacement
Mako is a robot which is a revolutionary approach to knee replacement surgery.
By using the robot the position of the knee prosthesis can be adapted to the individual patient’s specific anatomy.
The robot performs a number of tasks during the operation. First, it helps the surgeon to gather extra information about the individual patient’s specific anatomy and biomechanics. This means the optimal position of the knee prosthesis can be established in advance, for each patient individually. As soon as the optimal position of the knee prosthesis has been established, the plan is put into practice via the robotic arm, by making highly precise bone cuts up to 0.5 mm and 0.5° accurate.
With the robot the surgeon can meticulously determine the target and effectively achieve it. In other words, the robot helps the surgeon determine the optimal position of the prosthesis tailored to each individual patient. After performing the calculation the robot assists the surgeon in executing the plan by also inserting the prosthesis with the utmost precision.
Another advantage of the robot is that a maximum of tissue is spared during the sawing process. The saw motor stops as soon as the saw blade exits the bone; this is called haptic feedback. It means surgical trauma is reduced further, which promotes a smooth and quick recovery. The risk of complications is minimized as a result. You could compare the robot platform with the cockpit of an Airbus, which enables the pilot to consistently land on a landing strip just five meters wide.
Mako is pioneered in the ‘Orthopedie Roeselare’ in the AZ Delta hospital in Belgium.
AZ Delta is a highly specialized hospital in Roeselare, Belgium. The hospital is Joint Commission International (JCI) approved and owns the JCI gold label. A high level of differentiation prevails in the hospital, in which all aspects of specialist care are available. The department of orthopaedics is one of the hospital’s spearheads. Besides robotically assisted knee replacement also hip replacement and shoulder surgery is obtainable for abroad surgery patients.
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