Knee replacement via robot and the advantages concerning rehabilitation
Robot-assisted knee replacement: Intelligent robot used during knee operations
By using the robot, the position of the prosthesis can be adapted to the individual patient’s specific anatomy and biomechanics. AZ Delta in Roeselare is switching to a high-quality surgical robot (Mako) for use during knee replacement surgery as of April 2018. The Mako helps the surgeon to determine the optimal position of the prosthesis to fit each individual patient. After this calculation, the Mako helps to carry out this plan by implanting the prosthesis with the utmost precision. During surgery, the Mako robot not only helps to resection the bone, it also provides the surgeon with important additional information based on artificial intelligence. Dr Philip Winnock de Grave says: “The Mako robot performs a number of tasks during the operation. First, it provides the surgeon with extra information about the individual patient’s specific anatomy and biomechanics. This means the optimal position of the prosthesis can be established in advance, for each patient individually.” Dr Thomas Luyckx continues: “As soon as the optimal position of the prosthesis has been established, the robot helps put the plan into practice via the robotic arm, by making highly precise bone cuts up to 0.5 mm and 0.5° of accuracy.” “With this robot, we as the surgeon can meticulously determine the target and effectively achieve it. You can compare the Mako with the cockpit of an Airbus, which enables the pilot to consistently land on a landing strip just five metres wide,” says Dr Philip Winnock de Grave. “Another advantage of the robot is that a maximum of tissue is spared during the sawing process. The saw motor stops as soon as the saw blade exits the bone; this is called haptic feedback. It means surgical trauma is reduced further, which promotes a smooth and quick recovery. The risk of complications is minimised as a result,” says Dr Thomas Luyckx. Robots have been used in the operating theatre for some time, but now intelligent robots are also being used for the placement of knee prostheses for the first time in our country. “Due to its qualitative and multidisciplinary approach, the Orthopaedic department in Roeselare is a pioneering service. The service is able to offer all orthopaedic sub-specialities. The introduction of this smart robot in the operating theatre is the result of a very conscious decision by our hospital. The robot is used at the Brugsesteenweg Campus. This is our specialist, niche campus where our locomotor disciplines are based and our work is conducted in a highly interwoven manner,” says Johan Hellings, CEO of the hospital. This robotic surgery will be provided by all the knee specialists at the Brugsesteenweg Campus of AZ Delta in Roeselare.