Robotic knee surgery is an emerging surgical technique that allows for significant improvements in the field of artificial joint replacement. It is an advanced technology that utilises robotic feedback to substantially increase a surgeon’s precision. During a robot-assisted knee arthroplasty a robotic arm is used to read the parameters of bony anatomy and soft tissue constraints, it provides an immediate analysis and navigates the surgeon, in executing precise cuts and placements of the artificial knee components. Robotic technology allows not only for unparalleled precision but also for accelerated completion of the procedure, decreasing general surgical and anaesthesia-associated risks.
Indications for Robotic Total Knee Replacement are similar to those for standard total knee replacement. Robotic surgery significantly improves the outcomes of all patients, but is especially advantageous in those with the most severe bone deformities, contractures and joint destruction:
The contraindications for Robotic Total Knee Replacement are similar to those for standard total knee replacement:
During the surgery, you will be given anaesthesia to ensure your safety, comfort and pain-free procedure. The surgeon will make an incision over the knee joint and place markers to allow the robot to measure the patient’s anatomical parameters. Then the robotic arm will guide the surgeon through the removal of damaged cartilage and bone, with extreme precision. Using the robotic feedback the surgeon will be able to balance the knee joint, obtaining both the stability and maximum range of motion. Finally, the definitive artificial knee components will be implanted, the surgical wound closed and the dressing applied.
Following the surgery, patients will be taken to the recovery room for monitoring. Once their condition stabilises, they will be transferred to the ward.
The patient will be set up with a button for self-administered pain relief through a machine called a PCA machine (Patient-Controlled Analgesia). It is crucial for patients to use the PCA machine as prescribed by their healthcare provider to avoid overmedication.
Patients will be encouraged to start moving their knee and walking within a day or two of the surgery. The surgical wound dressing will usually be reduced on the second day post-op to make movement easier. A physiotherapist will be available to guide them through exercises and assist with rehabilitation and mobility.
The expected hospital stay after the surgery is approximately three to five days.
Discharge: Depending on individual needs and situations, patients may be discharged home or transferred to a rehabilitation hospital. It is essential to continue with the prescribed physiotherapy exercises for a successful recovery.
Following discharge, patients may require the use of a walker or crutches for about six weeks. As their leg gains strength and control, they can transition to using a walking stick under the guidance of a healthcare provider. Patients may resume driving around the six-week mark, but only when they feel confident that they’ve regained control of their leg. More demanding physical activities, such as sports, may be resumed comfortably after three months.
The degree of knee flexion will vary from patient to patient, but ideally, by six weeks, the knee should be able to bend to about 90 degrees. The goal is to achieve a range of movement between 110 and 115 degrees after surgery. This goal should be discussed with and determined by your healthcare provider.
Upon returning home, an occupational therapist will assess the patient’s living space and provide necessary precautions. This may include installing rails in the bathroom or making adjustments to sleeping arrangements if there are stairs in their home.
Regular follow-up appointments with the team will help monitor your progress and address any concerns:
If patients are worried about their level of pain, experience significant bleeding, or notice fever or redness around the surgical site, they should contact the office immediately. If assistance is needed after hours, patients can contact the hospital where the surgery was performed, and they will contact Professor Al Muderis on their behalf.
Norwest Private Hospital: (02) 8882 8882
Macquarie University Hospital: (02) 9812 3000