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Understanding How Robotic Joint Replacement Works

Joint pain is something you never want to have to deal with; however, when it becomes a problem that interferes with your life, it’s time to get help. There are many treatments out there, but if your joint problem is severe, you might benefit from joint replacement surgery. The upside to this is that we now offer robotic joint replacements, which have many benefits.

At Alpha Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, our team has all the tools to help you with any joint problem that you’re facing. Our skilled team of orthopedic surgeons and knee pain specialists are experts in many treatments, including robotic surgery for your joint pain.

Why do you need joint replacement?

When you’ve been suffering from joint pain for a long period of time, you might feel like you’re never going to kick the pain. However, when conservative treatments have failed, joint replacement surgery might be just what you need to get back on your feet. 

Joint replacements are usually indicated when your joint pain is severe and starts interfering with your life. This may include problems at your job, or simply trouble getting around daily. Our doctors usually use joint replacement as a last resort, when other less invasive treatments haven’t resolved your pain. 

Osteoarthritis is the most common reason you need a joint replacement. This type of arthritis occurs over time, when the protective layer of cartilage over your bones wears down. This leads to inflammation and pain in the joint. However, you also may need a joint replacement if you have a severe fracture. 

How robotic surgery works

You might be worried about a robot performing your surgery; but the truth is that our doctors run the robot and make all the decisions. The robot is simply a tool that allows our surgeons to more accurately place the implants in your joint, which of course has many benefits to you. 

Before the day of surgery, our team uses the technology in the robot to create a 3D map of your joint. This is used during your procedure to help our surgeons make very accurate and precise movements within your joint. It also allows the implants that replace your existing joint be placed exactly where they need to be. 

Our surgeons control the robotic arm from a console inside the operating room. They’re able to see inside of your joint, and move the robotic arm from behind the console. They make every move that the arm performs to remove the damage in your joint, but with much better precision than if they did it themselves. 

Once the damaged tissue is removed from the joint, the surgeon controls the robotic arm to place specialized implants, known as a prosthetic, in the joint. These prosthetics are made of ceramic, metal, or hard plastic, and take the place of the damaged bone in your joint. The robotic arm is able to make very meticulous movements to reduce tissue trauma. 

The system our team uses is called the Mako® robotic arm, and is used if you need a knee replacement or a hip replacement. There are other robotic devices out there also used for joint replacement surgery, but our team specializes in the Mako robot. 

Benefits of robotic surgery

Robotic surgery has a lot of perks compared with traditional open joint replacement surgery. One of the biggest benefits is the precision it provides. This is because of the fact that the robot provides precise planning and a real time map of your joint. Other benefits that robotic joint surgery includes:

This procedure also provides our surgeons with more precision during the surgery, meaning less tissue damage around the joint. This not only helps with your comfort after surgery, but also speeds up the recovery process because there’s less tissue to heal.

Robotic surgery isn’t for everybody though, so make sure to ask our team about it at your initial consultation. Even if you aren’t a candidate for robotic surgery, our surgeons still specialize in traditional joint replacement surgery as well.

When you can’t take your joint pain any longer, and want to learn more about robotic joint replacements, call our team at Alpha Orthopedics and Sports Medicine at one of our three convenient locations to schedule a consultation, or find us online to set up an appointment today.

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