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Robotic Knee Replacement vs Traditional Knee Replacement Surgery

Both robotic and traditional knee replacements aim to treat severe knee problems that involve replacing damaged knee parts with prosthetics. Traditional knee replacement has been used over the past few decades, whereas the robotic procedure came into existence a few years ago. 

Advancements in technology, especially in medicine, have revolutionised healthcare by inventing devices that make medical procedures simpler and more effective. Robotic procedures are among the greatest inventions, particularly in orthopaedic field, which has witnessed significant advances in treating knee problems like osteoarthritis and other severe knee-related conditions. 

Robotic-assisted knee replacement surgery is one of the technological advancements that offers the most promising alternative to traditional knee replacement procedures. 

In this brief overview, let us understand the key differences between robotic-assisted and traditional knee replacement, their benefits, and outcomes. Our aim is to empower patients and medical professionals by providing insights into advanced knee replacement procedures so that they can make informed decisions related to treatment options.

What is knee replacement surgery?

Knee replacement is of different types and is performed based on the type and severity of the knee condition. One is partial knee replacement (PKR), and the other is total knee replacement (TKR). A knee replacement, also called knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure that involves replacing only the damaged knee parts (PKR) or the complete knee joint (TKR) either through a conventional approach or a robotic-assisted approach. 

Many surgeons still prefer the classic knee replacement approach, which is also known as the conventional procedure, because the robotic procedure requires special training and hands on experience. Dr. Ajay Kumar Tiwari, one of the best knee replacement surgeons in Hyderabad, has more than 17 years of experience as an orthopedic joint replacement surgeon and has extended his knowledge into robotic procedures. He is among the few surgeons in Hyderabad who can perform robotic-assisted knee replacement procedures effectively. 

Traditional knee replacement surgery

In this surgical procedure, the surgeon makes a 10 to 12 inch long incision using regular surgical tools to gain access to damaged knee parts. Over the past few decades, this traditional approach has helped many people, but it takes a long time to recover completely. Traditional knee replacement surgery completely relies on visual assessment of the surgeon and manual techniques, sometimes guided by the judgment of other experts.

Advantages and disadvantages of traditional knee replacement surgery

Traditional knee replacement surgery costs less compared to robotic-assisted knee procedures.

Surgeons have plenty of experience and training in executing traditional knee replacement surgeries, which helps them make confident decisions to achieve efficient surgical outcomes.

Versatility – During the procedure, these techniques give surgeons the ability to adjust to different anatomical challenges and patient-specific needs, which offers flexibility in planning and executing the surgery.

However, compared to robotic procedures, traditional procedures are less advantageous. 

  • Less precision during implant positioning and alignment, which may affect long-term outcomes.
  • Risk of potential human error leading to suboptimal implant placement and potential complications.
  • Recovery time and rehabilitation period might be longer compared to robotic-assisted procedures.
  • Risk of complications like implant loosening, instability, and prolonged post-operative pain.
  • Limited customization may compromise the best possible implant fitting and performance for each patient.

Robot-assisted knee replacement surgery

Robotic knee replacement surgery is an advanced procedure performed by specialized robotic arms while the surgeon sits near monitor console and controls them. In this procedure, a 3D view of the patient’s knee joint is created so that the surgeon can make precise incisions and implant placements, which may help in achieving better alignment.

Benefits of robotic knee replacement surgery include

  • Precise implant placement leads to better alignment and stability.
  • Smaller incisions, which may result in less blood loss and faster recovery.
  • Reduced pain and improved knee function following surgery.
  • Shorter hospital stays compared to traditional knee replacement surgery
  • Improved long-term outcomes and implant life span

Recovery and success rates for both procedures vary from patient to patient because they depend on a number of factors, such as age, overall health, the severity of the knee problem, and an effective post-operative rehabilitation. In general, people who underwent robotic knee replacement might have a quicker recovery period compared to people who have had traditional knee replacement surgery because robotic procedures require smaller incisions and the implant placement is also more precise.

Robotic knee replacement surgery has a high success rate. Studies conducted by experts on a group of people who underwent robotic knee replacement have reported positive outcomes like reduced knee pain, improved joint functions, and mobility. Moreover, better implant alignment reduces the risk of loosening, instability, or dislocation of the implant over time. With any major surgical procedure, there might be a few risks and complications, such as infection, blood clots, damage to nerves or blood vessels, and implant failure. Before deciding to undergo a knee replacement procedure, patients should talk to their surgeon about these risks.

If you are having a knee problem and non-surgical treatment fails to fix your problem, then you might be eligible for knee replacement. Consult Dr. Ajay Kumar Tiwari, knee replacement specialist in Hyderabad, for an evaluation so that he can suggest the best knee treatment that suits your problem. 

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