What is Robotic-Assisted Hip Replacement?
Robotic-assisted hip replacement is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that involves the use of a specialized robotic system to remove the damaged parts of a hip joint and replace them with an artificial prosthesis or implant.
Indications for Robotic-Assisted Hip Replacement
Robotic hip replacement may be performed for:
- Moderate-to-severe arthritis
- Certain types of hip fractures
- Hip osteonecrosis (bone death due to inadequate blood supply)
- Loss of mobility
- Debilitating hip pain
Contraindications of Robotic-Assisted Hip Replacement
You may be ineligible for the procedure if you have:
- Osteoporosis, which increases the brittleness of the bones
- Hip joint infection
Preparation for Robotic-Assisted Hip Replacement
- Before surgery, your doctor will perform a complete physical examination to make sure you don’t have any conditions that could negatively affect the surgical outcome.
- While there are no specific weight restrictions, obese patients have a higher risk of implant failure as well as medical complications and are encouraged to lose weight in preparation for the procedure.
- Routine tests, such as blood tests and X-rays, are usually performed a week before the surgery.
- Discuss any allergies that you might have and medications you are taking with your doctor to see which ones you should stop taking before surgery.
- Prior to the surgery, a CT scan of the hip joint will be taken to create a 3D model of the hip which will be fed into the robotic system to create a detailed preoperative surgical plan.
Robotic-Assisted Hip Replacement Procedure
- The robotic system consists of mechanical arms and camera arms attached to the surgical instruments. The surgeon remains close to the operating table at the computer console controlling the arms of the robotic system while viewing 3-D images of the surgical site through the console.
- Surgery is performed under general or local anesthesia
- Use of robotic technology enables the surgery to be performed through small incisions.
- Based on the pre-operative surgical plan, the robotic system guides the surgeon while making cuts in the bone and preparing the surgical site for the implant.
- The robotic system ensures a stable environment as well as precise positioning and alignment of implant components to avoid damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
- The implant is tested for a range of motion and the soft tissues and skin are closed over the new hip with sutures.
Postoperative Care after Robotic-Assisted Hip Replacement
The general postoperative care instructions are as follows:
- Take pain relieving and other medications as advised. Pain-relieving medication should be taken with food. After the first 48 hours of surgery, take the pain medication only when needed.
- Use ice packs to control swelling. However, make sure that the ice bag does not leak into the dressing. Ice packs can be used liberally for the first 48 hours and even later if required.
- Keep the dressing clean and dry to promote wound healing.
- Try to begin physical therapy a day or two after the surgery. Exercises in the first week are usually aimed at regaining joint motion. Strengthening exercises are initiated later. Regular exercises are critical for a successful outcome.
Risks associated with Robotic Assisted Hip Replacement
As with any surgical procedure, the risks and complications include:
- Delayed healing
- Failure to heal
- Formation of blood clots
Benefits of Robotic-Assisted Hip Replacement
The benefits of robotic-assisted hip replacement include:
- Small surgical incisions and postsurgical scar
- The robotic arm prevents cutting instruments from moving out of the safe zone
- Increased accuracy of bone cuts
- Precise placement of the implant
- Less bleeding
- Fast healing after surgery
- No damage to the tissues surrounding the joint
- Restores normal function