Blackrock Clinic’s new robot offers more precision and accuracy for joint replacement surgery
16th Feb 2022
Blackrock Clinic has introduced a new precision robot for joint replacement surgery, in a move which could have a major impact on how such surgeries are performed in the coming years.
Stryker’s Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery device offers advantages over traditional surgery as its software is individualised to allow more accuracy during a joint replacement procedure.
The robotic system will not allow the saw blade to be even slightly misplaced and warns the surgical team if there is even minor deviation from the pre-operative and intra-operative plan.
Mr. Niall Hogan, a consultant in orthopaedic surgery, is the first of a team of surgeons at the Blackrock Clinic who has used the new robot. He believes that the technology could play an important role in the surgical field in the coming years, thus benefiting patients and surgeons alike.
“Performing knee surgery using Mako helps ensure there is less dissection and therefore less trauma to the soft tissues, and what we have seen so far in Blackrock is very positive in terms of patient recovery and knee range of movement post-operatively.
“Not only is the device more accurate than traditional techniques during surgery, it allows surgeons to pre-plan procedures and deliver that more personalised care to the patient. As more surgeons are trained in the use of this type of robotic system for joint replacement, an ever-greater number of surgical procedures will likely be robot-assisted, not just for knee surgery but other joints too.
Similar equipment is already used extensively in the UK within the National Health Service and major medical institutions, and research published in the British Medical Journal has stated that “robotic-assisted TKA surgeries are more capable of improving mechanical alignment and prosthesis implantation when compared with conventional surgery.”
Patrick O’Connor was the first patient to be treated using the new robot in the Blackrock Clinic when he underwent a total knee replacement.
Prior to this, he was experiencing severe difficulty in walking, which was proving to be a major obstacle to him in his role as a football coach. After undergoing the procedure, and with the help of post-op physiotherapy sessions in the Blackrock Clinic, he is now looking forward to getting back to regular exercise.
“The recovery is going very well, and I can now walk further than I did prior to the surgery. I am going to build on this progress, and I look forward to getting back into walking and cycling,” he said.
“For people suffering from serious knee problems, my strong advice would be not to put off seeking treatment. Care is available, and thanks to technologies like robot assisted surgery, people like me can look forward to the prospect of getting back to normal, and resuming the activities they love.”
Mr. Hogan added that the introduction of cutting edge robotic equipment would continue to benefit patients in the Blackrock Clinic as the technology improves.
“The more technological support which surgeons have at our disposal, the better able we will be to carry out both routine and complex procedures.
“What we are witnessing now is the beginning of a new era in orthopaedic surgical technology, one where patients will benefit from technological advances, bringing with it a reduction in patient pain and a reduction in hospital stays, not to mention improved functionality,” he concluded.