Neighborhood Health Watch: Robotic arm assisted knee replacement - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Neighborhood Health Watch: Robotic arm assisted knee replacement surgery

(WWBT) -

In Wednesday's Neighborhood Health Watch, we talked about robotic-arm assisted surgery for a total knee replacement.  Some people hear the word robotics and think they're putting their lives in the hands of a robot.

That is not the case. Your orthopedic surgeon does all the work. He or she uses a computer software system to guide the Mako robotic-arm. 

A 3-D model of your knee is used to preplan and enable the surgeon to give the patient a personalized experience based on that person's specific diagnosis.

"It starts off by using a CT scan basically using your own anatomy we load that into a computer and then we can virtually place the implants where we think they should be.  After we get into surgery, we are able to test and stretch the ligaments and then we can reprogram that computer to use this robotic arm to make the precise cuts that we had preplanned.  Chippenham is the first hospital in Central Virginia that uses this technology and has it available. It's relatively new to Richmond, but it's been used throughout the country," said Dr. David Miller with Chippenham Hospital.

Dr. Miller says it's covered by insurance and you can resume your normal activities, minus the pain after a brief recovery period.

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