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Robot helps replace 100 knees

An orthopaedic surgeon at Netcare Pinehaven Hospital has reached a milestone in high-precision knee replacement surgery with a robot’s assistance.

Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Pieter Botha has completed his 100th robotic assisted knee replacement at Netcare Pinehaven Hospital in Krugersdorp, South Africa, using the ROSA surgical system. In total, 156 robotic assisted knee replacements have been done by accredited orthopaedic surgeons practicing at the hospital.

The system acts as an assistant, providing objective data about the patient’s unique anatomy to help inform the surgeon’s decision making during the operation. Dr Botha says that the surgeon is in complete control at all times while using the robotic system.

“The technology allows greater precision in matching the natural balance of the patient’s knee, helping to restore each patient’s own unique alignment between the knee, hips and ankles, which is essential to their comfort and mobility,” he says.

“A joint is a dynamic mechanical system, and when performing a knee replacement very careful alignment is required to enable the range of movement as well as balance of the knee. Even the most experienced surgeons will very occasionally see small deviations from the intended alignment, and the robotic assisted ROSA system’s software helps to reduce this margin even further.”

Another advantage of the system is that the patient does not require an MRI scan or other pre-operative imaging.  Using the system’s stylus, the surgeon maps the anatomical landmarks of the knee and this data, including the movements of the hip and ankle, assists the surgeon in planning and performing a personalised procedure for each individual.

“Correct alignment and balance can improve recovery times and internationally is associated with improved patient reported outcome measurements [PROM]. After a knee replacement, physiotherapy and occupational therapy are important for optimizing the outcomes of surgery.

“This ongoing programme is accumulating local anonymized clinical data and contributing to the ever-expanding body of international research to support and improve outcomes for knee replacement patients worldwide, including those who undergo surgery with robotic assisted technology.”

Dr Pieter Botha, orthopaedic surgeon

Constance Majeke, general manager of Netcare Pinehaven Hospital, says: “The experience that Dr Botha and his team have already gained in this advanced knee replacement surgery option is an asset to our patients, and a growing number of ROSA robotic assisted procedures have been performed at the hospital by fellow orthopaedic surgeons Dr Attie Cloete and Dr Graeme Davis.”

Netcare Pinehaven which was the second hospital in South Africa to introduce ROSA technology and one of six Netcare hospitals offering either ROSA or Mako robotic assisted knee replacement surgery.

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