Hip and knee arthritis is a common ailment that affects many Americans. After exhausting non-surgical treatments without relief, many decide to have joint replacement surgery of the hip or knee to achieve and maintain an active lifestyle.

The introduction of robotic-assisted hip and knee replacement now offers both the surgeon and the patient advantages over traditional joint replacement. In traditional joint replacement, X-rays are used to plan for surgery. This only allows the surgeon to see the hip or knee in two dimensions, without the ability to visualize the nuances of each patient's unique anatomy. By using CT scan-guided robotic technology, the surgeon builds a 3D model of the hip or knee to plan exactly where the artificial implant components should be placed to recreate each patient’s specific anatomy.

With robotic technology, the planning process starts long before the patient goes into the operating room. Before the joint replacement surgery begins, the surgeon knows exactly what the patient’s knee or hip looks like in 3D, which exact implant sizes will perfectly fit, and where the implants need to be placed to replicate the patient’s natural structures.

Your orthopedic surgeon will perform the surgery using the robot as a tool, and has direct control of it at all times. Once the surgery starts, the robot is used by the surgeon and allows the parts to be placed exactly where it was planned on the 3D model. The orthopedic surgeon now has an advantage in the operating room, with very little guesswork and no surprises during the surgery. During traditional joint replacement surgery, the surgeon starts the procedure with a rough idea of sizes and positioning, and makes estimations during surgery about the best final placement. Robotic technology allows the ability to create and execute a more accurate and personalized plan guided by 3D imaging. Most of the patient’s surgical planning is done before they even enter the operating room. 

Benefits of Robotic-assisted Joint Replacement

  • Individualized Treatment Plan: 3D models of each patient provide the surgeon with the ability to customize a personalized treatment plan.
  • Greater Precision: Robotic technology offers more precise placement of artificial components, compared to surgeons' estimations in traditional joint replacement. This allows precise alignment directly tailored to each individual patient.
  • Minimally Invasive: When robotics is combined with a minimally invasive technique, patients are up and walking right after surgery. In most cases, joint replacement recipients can go home on the same day. Patients will benefit from minimally invasive surgery by feeling less pain and will regain strength and function much faster than traditional surgery.

Over the last decade, advances in joint replacements have come a long way. There have been significant improvements, offering potentially less pain, better patient outcomes, and increased lifespan of the implants. Still, some patients are apprehensive to have surgery based on past experiences of watching a loved one struggle through it. Today, most patients are surprised to hear how much recovery has changed, even in the last few years. Most will go home the same day or stay only one night after hip or knee replacement surgery, often returning to their home for their recovery instead of a facility. Patients are taking far less opioids for pain and getting back on their feet sooner. If you are apprehensive about joint replacement, even after exhausting all other options, request an appointment to discuss the benefits of minimally invasive robotic joint replacement with a surgeon who uses these modern techniques.

IBJI offers the latest techniques and technology in orthopedic surgery and joint replacement, including robotics and minimally invasive approaches for better patient outcomes. Contact us today to learn more about robotic assisted hip and knee replacement surgery. Find out if joint replacement can get you back to yourself, and enjoy life again.

About the Author
Andrew Ehmke, DO is a fellowship-trained joint replacement surgeon at Illinois Bone & Joint Institute, specializing in minimally invasive robotic hip and knee replacement in Chicagoland and Munster, Indiana.

Illinois Bone & Joint Institute offers world-class orthopedic care across Chicago and Indiana, with over 100 convenient locations and expertise in every orthopedic specialty. We offer personalized solutions and cutting-edge treatments to help you move better, so you can live better.

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