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Two Robots Added To Assist With Knee Joints Additional Robots To Assist With Knee Joint Replacements

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Joint replacement surgeons at Hoag Orthopedic Institute (HOI), which performs the most hip and knee joint replacement surgeries in the Western U.S., have added two additional knee-assist robots at Hoag Orthopedic Institute ambulatory surgical centers in Orange and Mission Viejo, Calif., to assist them in certain knee joint replacement surgeries. HOI now counts four knee-assist robots among its facilities and is evaluating the technology for additional units, including another robot for a planned surgery center in Aliso Viejo later this year.

HOI’s surgery center in Mission Viejo, California Specialty Surgery Center, performed it first knee-assisted surgery in early summer with the aid of a Zimmer ROSA® Knee System. According to Stephen Gardner, MD, a robotic surgery specialist at the center, the system utilizes patient-specific alignment which helps facilitate a move to more outpatient total knee surgery.

“Patient-specific alignment uses real-time information that allows us to build a 3D virtual model of the knee in real time, then super impose the implant on the computer to determine alignment and balance before we put the implant in during surgery,” says Dr. Gardner. “The robot allows us to duplicate exactly what we planned on the computer in the patient which typically leads to good early range of motion and quicker recovery.”

The second new robot, a Corin OMNIBiotics knee-assist surgical system, is in HOI Surgical Center - Orange. The robot helps lessen trauma to the soft tissues resulting in reduced local inflammatory responses, postoperative pain, and functional recovery time.

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

Dr. Nassif, one of the first surgeons to use the robotic medical device for knee replacement surgery, cautioned that 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 surgeons to use their skills and experience to optimize the result.