Anyone who has tried any DIY at home knows how hard it is to get something perfectly aligned. Traditionally, plumblines and spirit levels have been used and more modern methods include laser guided alignment devices, like in wheel alignment.
In knee replacements, alignment is critical. Traditionally, we have used a combination of mechanical jigs and 'eyeballing' to get the alignment right. Often incorrect position of the implant is only realised when an X-ray is taken after the operation.
Not the best way to get your wheels aligned!
Robotics produces very accurate implant positioning as well as less tissue damage.
Infra-red position markers allow GPS-tracking of the hand-held tools, and a virtual 3D image of the patient's knee in built on a computer screen in front of the surgeon. This allows a clear and precise overlay of the implants on the patient's knee model and lets the surgeon do real-time adjustments to achieve the optimum position for the implants based on each patient's individual anatomy. There is instant visual feedback on the screen as the computer model moves when the surgeon moves and assesses the patient's knee.
Once the surgeon is happy with the best position of the implants, the plan is saved and only then does the surgeon start cutting and shaping the bones to fit the implants.
The NAVIO(R) robotic system has the advantage of not needing a pre-operative CT scan, as the surgeon builds a 3D model of the patient's knee on the computer screen during the operation. This means no exposure to potentially harmful radiation from such a CT scan.
Furthermore, as the system uses a high-speed burr rather than conventional saws, there should be less surrounding soft tissue (muscle, ligament, skin, etc.) damage. We hope this leads to less pain and swelling after the operation. This in turn should allow quicker recovery from surgery, with a shorter hospital stay and less time off work.
I am pleased to offer robotic-assisted partial and total knee replacements to both NHS and private patients at the South West London Elective Orthopaedic Centre in Epsom (KT18 7EG, Surrey, UK). Please see the 'Appointments' tab at the top of the page for more contact details, or use the form below.