Has Robotics Transformed Total Joint Replacements?

A total joint replacement (TJR) procedure is the gold standard for treating chronic joint pain caused by arthritis or injury. Over time, the joint’s cartilage wears away, significantly reducing overall function. TJR removes the damaged cartilage and bone and installs a prosthetic. Recently, there has been a new player in the joint replacement market. Robotic total joint replacement uses a unique robotic arm device to perform the surgery. The surgeon uses an external console to direct the arm and surgical tools. This innovative approach will soon be the norm, thanks to the impact on both surgical success and recovery.


Benefits of robotic joint replacement

There are several ways robotic joint replacement optimizes surgery. The device allows the surgeon to pre-plan the surgery, achieving specific measurements for the prosthetic. The surgeon uses a series of small incisions to access the joint. A scope and surgical tools also enhance precision and speed. As a result, surgeons at various experience levels can perform total joint replacements. Patients also benefit from avoiding large open incisions, often required with conventional knee and hip replacements. Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) combined with robotics also offers many recovery benefits, with the best being the ability to get active again quicker.

Robotic-like healing

Total joint replacements require significant time for healing and recovery. The patient will need a few weeks for wound healing and pain management. The next steps involve physical therapy (PT) to restore mobility and strengthen the surrounding muscles. While this process can take 6 or more months with open surgery, the timeline differs significantly with robotic surgery. As there are small incisions, there is less post-operative pain and faster healing. Most patients can walk or move the impacted joint in a few days and move unassisted in a few weeks. The PT timeline is also shorter, allowing patients to resume activities like work and sports sooner.

Significantly improve your mobility

Good candidates for joint replacement are people with severe joint pain and stiffness. These symptoms limit mobility, meaning the patient can’t enjoy daily activities. Joint replacement removes the painful cartilage and diseased bone. After recovery, the new prosthetic improves the patient’s range of motion (ROM) and enhances mobility. Studies show that some joint replacement patients will enjoy more mobility than before the procedure. This new movement encourages patients to engage in more physical activities and social events, improving quality of life.

Long-term confidence

On average, robotic joint replacements last 10-15 years. Robotic joint replacements offer increased precision and a higher-quality prosthetic, so patients who undergo the procedure should enjoy years of pain-free life. Many patients feel invigorated after surgery and start new hobbies, work more, and travel again. With consistent long-term care techniques, like exercise, stretching, and a healthy diet, patients can extend the benefits of a replacement even longer.

Better joints with MIS

A new joint can help improve months of chronic pain, stiffness, and limited mobility. Both open and robotic surgery can help, but robotic minimally invasive surgery offers significantly more benefits. Patients will enjoy smaller incisions, faster healing, and a more precise joint. There is also a higher success rate and fewer complications. As a result, patients can resume sports, hobbies, and other daily activities faster.

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