Robotic Knee Replacement vs. Traditional Knee Replacement: An In-Depth Comparison
Joints are an essential part of our body, and we rely on them for almost every movement. From the moment we wake up to the time we go to bed, our body relies on joints to perform even the simplest of tasks. One such joint that plays a crucial role in our daily lives is the knee joint. It is one of the largest and most complex joints in our body, allowing us to perform activities such as walking, running, jumping, and sitting.
However, knee joint problems can arise, disrupting our entire routine and making it challenging to carry out daily activities. These problems can be caused by various factors such as knee osteoarthritis, knee effusion, meniscus tear, ligament tear, and more. Knee joint problems are prevalent among older adults due to the natural wear and tear that occurs over time. Athletes who engage in high-impact activities such as running or sports that involve jumping or quick pivoting movements are also at an increased risk of experiencing knee pain and problems.
To treat knee joint problems, non-surgical treatments are often recommended as the first line of treatment. These treatments may include physical therapy, pain relief medication, or injections. However, knee replacement surgery may be necessary if the pain persists and non-surgical treatments do not provide relief.
Knee replacement surgery, also known as knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure that involves removing the damaged or diseased part of the knee joint and replacing it with an artificial joint. There are two methods by which knee replacement surgery can be performed.
1. Traditional knee replacement surgery
2. Robotic (or robot-assisted) knee replacement surgery.
In this blog, we will delve into both types of knee replacement surgery and learn about their differences so that you can make an informed decision if you ever require knee replacement surgery.
What is traditional knee replacement surgery?
Traditional knee replacement surgery, also called conventional knee replacement surgery, is a well-established orthopaedic procedure used to treat various knee conditions that cause pain and mobility issues. During the surgery, the damaged portion of the knee joint is replaced with an artificial joint, also known as a prosthesis or implant, made of metal and plastic components. The primary goal of this procedure is to alleviate pain and restore mobility and functionality to the knee joint.
Traditional knee replacement surgery involves a long incision in the middle of the knee joint to access and view the affected area. The surgeon then removes the damaged bone and cartilage from the femur, tibia, and patella and prepares the surfaces to receive the artificial joint components. The metal components are then attached to the ends of the bones, and a plastic spacer is inserted in between to allow for smooth movement. The procedure typically takes an hour and patients are given spinal anaesthesia.
After the surgery, patients require a few days of hospitalization and 3-6 weeks of rehabilitation to regain strength and mobility in the knee joint. The rehabilitation process involves physical therapy exercises and movements to improve flexibility and muscle strength in the affected area. Patients may also be required to use assistive devices such as crutches or walkers during the initial recovery period.
What is Robotic knee replacement surgery?
Robotic knee replacement, also known as robot-assisted knee replacement, is a newer and more advanced surgical technique used for knee replacement procedures. In this procedure, the surgeon uses a robotic arm to assist them in preparing the bone surfaces and placing the artificial joint components. During the robotic knee replacement surgery, the surgeon creates a 3D virtual model of the patient's knee joint using advanced computer software. This model helps the surgeon plan and customize the surgery according to the patient's specific anatomy and requirements.
The robotic arm is programmed to follow the surgeon's pre-planned movements and make precise cuts on the bone surface to prepare it for the implant. The surgeon can control the robotic arm's movements and adjust them as needed throughout the procedure.
Once the bone surfaces are prepared, the surgeon places the artificial joint components specially designed to fit the patient's anatomy. The robotic arm can also assist the surgeon in placing the components accurately and precisely, ensuring optimal alignment and stability of the new joint.
Also, read: Four Essential Practices To Avoid Knee Injuries