Consider the Potential Benefits of Robotic-Assisted Joint Replacement Surgery - Virtua Article

Discover How Robotic-Assisted Joint Replacement Surgery Can Benefit You

By Rajesh K. Jain, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon—Virtua Joint Replacement Institute

During the past decade, advances in robotic-assisted technology have allowed orthopedic surgeons to take joint replacement surgery to an even higher level of success. Despite the buzz, many patients still wonder exactly what happens during robotic-assisted surgery and what to expect from this type of procedure.

Learning more about how surgeons use robotic technology to benefit patients will help you understand why Virtua surgeons have adopted this advanced technology for many total knee, partial knee and hip replacement procedures.

The benefits of robotic-assisted joint replacement surgery

Joint replacement surgery typically is performed to resolve chronic joint pain caused by injury, arthritis and overuse. The procedure removes diseased or damaged bone and cartilage and replaces it with metal and plastic implants. These implants help eliminate pain by functioning just like your natural joint. Depending on your condition, your surgeon may replace the entire joint (total joint replacement) or only the damaged part of the joint (partial joint replacement).

Surgeons have successfully used robotic-assisted technology in joint replacement procedures for more than a decade. At Virtua, we use robotic-arm technology to customize your joint replacement surgery to your unique anatomy, which means your replacement joint will fit more precisely. It also means your surgery will require less bone removal and tissue damage than it would with traditional surgery. Using this technology results in fewer failed procedures, better alignment and less impingement (damage to the components of the artificial hip joint caused when they rub together during movement).

Other benefits of robotic surgery include:

  • More accurate placement and alignment of joint implants
  • Potential for longer lasting joint replacements
  • Potential for smaller incisions and less blood loss
  • Reduced damage to surrounding tissues

How does the robotic arm technology work?

Before your joint replacement, the surgeon uses the robotic system to generate a 3-D virtual model of your joint based on a CT scan. Based on this model, your surgeon uses the system to create a personalized, detailed pre-operative plan for your entire surgery. This pre-surgery planning allows your surgeon to achieve the most precise results.

During surgery, the surgeon guides the robotic arm based on the pre-operative plan. The system assists your surgeon with the placement of each joint component. Although the system prevents your surgeon from moving outside pre-planned boundaries during surgery, he or she can make adjustments as needed.

Who is a candidate for robotic surgery?

Although robotic-assisted joint replacement isn’t for everyone, most people are suitable candidates. The surgeons at Virtua use robotic-assisted technology whenever possible to provide the best, most precise results for their patients.

To schedule a consultation with a Virtua Joint Replacement Institute orthopedic surgeon, call 1-888-VIRTUA-3.

Updated October 11, 2017

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