The Evolution Of Joint Surgery
Surgical procedures for total joint replacements have evolved over the years. Joint replacements were solely done using open techniques, and doctors would use large incisions to access the joint and install prosthetics. Now, most joint replacements are minimally invasive, outpatient procedures. Outpatient surgeries have evolved even further with robotic-arm assisted surgery, and robotics have increased the speed and accuracy of operations and, by extension, the patient’s recovery time.
Minimally invasive and outpatient procedures
Unlike open surgery, minimally invasive surgery uses 1-3 incisions the size of buttonholes. A particular device called an arthroscope goes through one of these incisions. The scope contains a light and camera, which projects an image on an external monitor. The surgeon can use small tools through the other incisions to complete the surgery. Minimally invasive surgery is an outpatient procedure, meaning the patient can usually leave the hospital the same day. For operations like joint replacements, minimally invasive surgery reduces the chances of infection and increases surgery speed.
Robotic-arm-assisted surgery combines minimally invasive techniques with technology. The robotic arm device is primarily for joint replacements but can be used for other procedures. This device improves the surgical process in 2 ways. First, the device creates a custom 3-D image of the joint before the procedure, and the surgeon can then use the image and guided robotic arm to perform the surgery. Both steps significantly improve joint replacement surgery's speed, accuracy, and success rates.
Surgery and recovery
Joint replacement recovery time can vary based on the type of procedure. Open surgery can take up to 8 weeks to resume normal activities. Minimally invasive techniques mean recovery can happen sooner, at about 6 weeks. Robotic-arm-assisted surgery can speed things up even more. Studies show that robotic surgery can speed up recovery time by 30%. A full recovery can take between 6 months to 1 year for any joint replacement. Because of the accuracy and less pain with robotics, most patients heal well before this time.
Get moving sooner
Joint replacement can decrease joint pain and improve movement. However, the success of surgery depends on a smooth recovery. Minimally invasive surgery has significantly reduced recovery time. When robotic-arm assisted surgery is used, patients have fewer complications and increased accuracy. This accuracy reduces pain and speeds up recovery time. Patients considering surgery should explore the possibility of outpatient robotic arm surgery.
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