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Robotic Orthopedic Surgery: Era of the Machines!

robotic orthopedic surgery in India

What Is Robotic Orthopedic Surgery?

Robotic orthopedic surgery is a type of surgical procedure which is managed by the robotic systems to carry out surgical repairs of the bones and the joints. It is a minimally invasive surgery and makes use of robotic arms that are guided by the surgeons at each stage of the surgery. Thus the surgeon can always operate on the patient from a distance by giving instructions to the robot. It is also known by the names of unmanned surgery and remote surgery. These are approved by the Food and Drug Administration FDA. Various pros and cons are associated with this latest technique and the surgeon needs to be familiar with the every aspect of it.

Uses of Robotic Surgery in Orthopedics:

  • Knee replacement where artificial patella/knee cap/patella needs to be placed
  • Similarly in total hip replacement surgeries where hip implants need to be placed accurately and very finely, a robotic assisted surgery becomes very useful and helpful
  • Total joint arthoplasty cases
  • Cases of trauma in the spine, shoulder, elbow or ankle which require surgical contouring

Treatment Procedure for Robotic Orthopedic Surgery:

  • Virtual modeling: A computer first prepares a realistic representation of the anatomy of the human body part or parts where the operation needs to be carried out. This will help the surgeon to make the treatment plan. There can be two methods by which the virtual model systems can be prepared. In the pre-operative method, computed tomography CT or magnetic resonance imaging MRI are used to take three dimensional images of the bone or the joint and then the virtual models are prepared. However, the CT or the MRI can only record the images prior to the surgery and claim the bone morphology to be static throughout the treatment procedures. Hence intra-operative image acquisition systems have been introduced to help create the virtual model systems.  These make use of CT, MRI, 2D or a 3D fluoroscopy to help take the images. These procedures help in the assessment of recording very fine details such as that of the tendons, ligaments, blood vessels and the nerves. Based on the proximity to these structures, the surgeon can plan the surgery accordingly and feed the plan into the system of the robots. The visual models will help in the accurate positioning of the components, simulate the adjacent structures, calculate the various angles that need to be corrected or pre design the osteotomy plane. Thus this proves as an excellent navigation tool that can help in the determination of various aspects of the surgery. 
  • Registration: This is the process of matching where pre operative photographs and the anatomical structures are matched. This helps in matching the real position with the virtual ones. There can be many ways by which the matching can be done. A primary method is pair point matching, where matching is done by pairing the feature points on the target object by computer mouse and virtual object identified by a tracked probe. A straightforward way is to place a marker on the target tissue before the procedure, which will cause extra wound. Then the calibrated image system, which can provide a registration with a limited number of fluoroscopic images, has been developed. Another registration method is using an ultrasound probe to track the spatial landmarks. This method can avoid invasive exposure of the surfaces of the object structures, but the placement of the probe is difficult to prehension, especially when the tissues around the target are thick. The current method mainly using infrared technology, which can provide a precise and accurate measurement of the position information. The intra-operative image acquisition systems do the job of registration while collecting the position information and then create a virtual model.
  • Operative method: The robot-assisted operation officially begins after matching the real object from the operation table with the virtual one in the computer system. The robotic system can be assigned to three main categories (passive, active and semi-active) based upon the degree of computer control inherent in the methodologies of executions. Passive systems like the Acrobat robotic system, need a direct and completely manipulate by the surgeon. For instance, the surgeon manipulates the device but acts on information supplied by the system. While active robotic systems, for example, ROBODOC and iBlock, are able to performing individual tasks autonomously. And semi-active systems, like Navio and MAKO have a degree of autonomy, but still require the surgeon to participant such like define the resection parameters. The robots can help well placed surgical implants and cutting guide plates autonomously, or guide the surgeons for positioning the instruments accurately and efficiently. What’s more, some robotic systems have the function of auto bone milling and cutting.

Complications And Risk Factors Associated With Robotic Orthopedic Surgery:

  • Increased cost of the robotic systems and the entire treatment 
  • Need for software updates and up gradation
  • Increased operating time, more surgeon learning time
  • High maintenance of the entire apparatus
  • Extensive and elaborative robotic apparatus
  • Potentially improper placement of implants due to misinterpretation of guidance from the surgeon
  • Possible zero results in the treatment outcomes

Am I Good Candidate For Robotic Orthopedic Surgery?

If you happen to be a patient of any of the following conditions, you can surely undergo the orthopedic robotic surgery:

Recovery Time of Robotic Orthopedic Surgery:

Ideally you are required to stay in the hospital for a period of two to three days, where your vitals can be monitored. During the same time, a physiotherapist will also visit you guiding you about to how and when to begin exercises and begin the normal daily life. You will recover totally after two to three weeks and may require a monthly check up at your orthopedic surgeon’s clinic to keep the things normal.

Success Rate:

Implants that are placed in the knee and the hip with the help of robotic surgery have a 90 percent chance of placing it very accurately with a success rate for a ten to twelve year long period. However this also depends upon the skill of the surgeon and how well he manages to guide the robotic arm.

Benefits of Robotic Orthopedic Surgery:

  • The biggest advantage of a robotic surgery is that it can be done on a remote basis too; surgeon need not be present in the operative room to carry out the procedure. Remote surgery
  • Enhancement in implant placement
  • Good access to certain areas which otherwise in the conventional manner would not have been possible to access
  • Fine details of muscles, nerves and blood vessels

Cost Comparisons for Robotic Orthopedic Surgery:

A single and complete knee or hip replacement would cost you around $1 million dollars in the United States. Indian currency requires you to pay an amount of 15,00,000 to 18,00,000 INR.

Why Choose India?

Robotic orthopedic surgery is one of the leading and advanced technological advancements which have find a widespread use in the metropolitan cities in India. Team MedcureIndia aptly represents the Indian medical tourism where the robotic surgeries are finely planned, executed with the best treatment outcomes with affordable charges.




Frequently Asked Questions:

• Is robotic surgery dangerous?

This is just a human perception. There are no dangers involved with the robotic surgeries, minor risks do occur which can always be taken care of by the orthopedic surgeon.

• Is robotic surgery covered under insurance?

Yes, robotic surgery is considered to be a minimally invasive technique and all such surgeries are included under insurance.

• Is the procedure painful?

The surgery is far less painful than the conventional one; with even less post operative risks of infections and lesser time of hospital stay.

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