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HOI Surgeons Add Second Robot for Knee Joint Replacements

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Joint replacement surgeons at Hoag Orthopedic Institute (HOI), which performs the highest volume of hip and knee joint replacement surgeries in the Western U.S., have begun using a new robot to assist them in certain knee joint replacement surgeries. To date, surgeons at HOI, have performed more than 25 knee joint replacements with the Velys Robotic Assisted Solution, made by Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Synthes unit.

The new Velys Robot is the second robotic technology device to be used at the facility. Robotic technology has been around for more than a decade, but surgeons at HOI believed this new generation of robotic technology has the most potential to improve outcomes for patients undergoing knee replacement surgery.

“Robots in general don’t make a surgeon better, but the next generation of robotic devices have the potential to augment a good surgeon’s skill,” said Nader Nassif, M.D., HOI Division Chief of Joint Replacement. “It’s compact, easy to use and can help assist a surgeon with more precision during surgery.”

Dr. Nassif, who was one of the first surgeons to use the medical device for knee replacement surgery, said that it can provide more of a fine-tune individuality to each case. “It helps dial in the delicate balance and alignment that we strive for during the procedure,” he added. “Over time and copious measurement of our outcomes, we will be able to tell if this robot can further improve our already nationally ranked results.”

Not every knee replacement patient is a candidate for robotic assisted surgery.

“Each patient’s knee is different. Some demand a more complex surgery and those are typically performed without a robot to allow for the surgeon to use their skills and experience to optimize the result,” Dr. Nassif said. “We realize through many studies that a percentage of knee replacement patients still have some pain, stiffness or are just not satisfied with their new knee, even though they would agree that they would have still undergone the procedure. If the robot can help reduce that small percentage of unsatisfied patients even more, we have made progress,” he stressed.