Robotic-assisted knee replacements
Despite the best intentions of all surgeons, just like any good tradesman, no-one is perfect, and there are variations in patient outcomes. Some of these are unexplainable, others related to specific complications that can occur, but occasionally an implant has ended up being inserted in a position that post-operatively is identified as sub-optimal. Research and the technology that it is has led to has been focused on improving intra-operative feedback and guidance to assist surgeons in reproducible and optimal component placement. As we all have slightly different anatomy, surgical plans need to be able to adapt to meet specific patient anatomy and functional needs. Robotic assistance allows Dr Host to combine a pre-operative 3D plan of the surgery with intra-operative bony landmarks and soft-tissue balancing to achieve customised and optimal implant position. The aim is to provide a knee replacement with a quicker recovery and improved long-term patient outcomes, and research is being done on this with promising early results. Anything that improves the outcomes is worth pursuing, and Dr Host is pleased to offer such state-of-the-art technology here in Bathurst.
Computer navigation and pressure balancing
Advances in computer navigation and pressure plate balancing has allowed Dr Host to more accurately align the joint and balance the ligaments during a knee replacement. With greater life spans for the current plastics used in joint replacement, combined with increased life expectancies and a desire for better joint function, it is vital that surgeons achieve the best alignment possible for each patient. There are natural variations to what is ‘normal’ for each patient, and thus it has always been a challenge for surgeons and patients to achieve the desired result each time. Technologies such as I-ASSIST computer navigation and VERASENSE balancing devices allow Dr Host to assess and correct alignment and balance during the operation with increased accuracy compared to conventional systems, and without requiring intra-operative imaging. The hope is that this will lead to increased patient satisfaction and implant survival in the long term, and research is already showing promising results. Anything that helps us improve patient outcomes is worth pursuing, and these technologies are already being used locally by Dr Host with this in mind.