There are several ways to perform a knee replacement, but outcomes depend on the expertise of the surgeon. Many knee experts, myself included, have adopted technology to achieve as close to “perfect” surgical outcomes as possible. The goal and buzzword of the day regarding knee replacement surgery is ULTRA-PRECISE alignment.
ULTRA-PRECISE alignment means fitting knee replacement parts with anatomic exactness. Replacement surgery begins and ends with meticulous soft tissue balancing. During the course of a knee replacement, worn-down cartilage and bone are removed and the surrounding tissues are minimally disturbed. The “tools” that a surgeon relies on to do this with precision have profoundly improved with computer and robotic assistance. These tools help achieve the soft tissue balance essential for patient satisfaction.
I have performed the most computer-assisted surgery in California using the Zimmer iASSIST system for several years now. The outcomes have been excellent for patient gratification. As in other areas of medicine, improvements occur rapidly. One such improvement is the Zimmer ROSA knee system, which is a robotic technology to assist me in performing safer, less painful, and more ULTRA-PRECISE knee replacements than traditional minimally invasive surgery.
The computer and robotic techniques that I utilize give me considerable options during surgery to adapt to any situation. An added benefit is that these technologies rely on simple X-rays of the knee, and do not require additional (and costly) MRI or CAT scans. This saves patients and doctors time, cost, and radiation exposure.
Again, a great surgical outcome starts with a seasoned surgeon that specializes in knee replacement. Robotic and computer-assisted surgery will continue to aid surgeons and is rapidly becoming the norm in knee surgery. Most patients are suitable for these technological advances. Please ask questions about these techniques if you are considering a knee replacement.
– Matthew J. Simons, M.D.