Evolution of Technology

Robotic Assisted Total Knee Arthroplasty

During the procedure, real-time visual, tactile, and auditory feedback are given to the surgeon, which ideally reduces the potential for complications. Robotic-assisted surgery has been around since the 1980s, in recent years significant improvements have been made particularly in joint replacement surgery. The use of robotics in total knee replacements is increasing amongst orthopedic surgeons. Depending on the surgeon’s preference the robotic assistance used varies. Each robot is linked to a specific implant company. Regardless of the company, robotic assistance usually requires the placement of sensors either within the midline knee incision or at another point along the extremity outside the incision. In the operating room the procedure is performed by the surgeon with specific information about alignment determined by the robotic arm. The robotic feedback assists the surgeon in determining his bone cuts and correct implant sizing and position.

Evolution of Procedure

Total Knee Arthroplasty

Total knee arthroplasty also known as a knee replacement is very common procedure performed by orthopedic surgeons worldwide. The goal of a total knee replacement is to restore function and alleviate pain when nonoperative treatments have been unsuccessful. Surgery involves removing portions of the femur (thigh bone), tibia (shin), and patella (kneecap) and placing appropriately sized components to restore the knee joint. Usually there is a single incision made along the anterior aspect of the knee. The procedure can take approximately 1 – 2 hours and patients commonly are able to weight bear on the extremity the day of surgery. Recent technological advancements have allowed incorporation of robotic feedback in the operating room to assist surgeons in implant placement.

Evolution of Diagnosis

Knee Osteoarthritis

Knee osteoarthritis is a common condition that is due to degenerative changes of the articular cartilage. The disease is associated with “wear and tear” of the knee joint over multiple years and can occur at an accelerated pace following trauma or ligament laxity. Osteoarthritis of the knee is fairly common in elderly patients. A few risk factors that attribute to the development of osteoarthritis are female gender, obesity, muscle weakness, trauma, and occupational demands.

Multiple entities exist to help alleviate the pain from osteoarthritis and restore adequate function. Nonoperative modalities include physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, knee braces, as well as corticosteroid or gel injections. If these treatments are unsuccessful and appropriate function is not able to be achieved, surgical intervention with a Total Knee Arthroplasty may be considered.