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Robotic Assisted Hip and Resurfacing Surgery in Seattle, WA

Family of four enjoying outdoorsThe hip is one of the largest weight bearing joints in the body. It is a ball and socket joint composed of the upper end of the thighbone (the femoral head) and a rounded socket in the pelvis (the acetabulum). The ends of the bones are covered with cartilage, a tough material that cushions the bones during movement.

The most common cause of hip pain is osteoarthritis, also known as “wear and tear” arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease in which the protective cartilage wears away and exposes the ends of the bones, creating narrow spaces and rough surfaces between the bones of the hip joint. During the beginning stages of osteoarthritis, patients will experience stiffness and pain during activities. Patients with severe osteoarthritis may lose the ability to fully extend their hip and may not be able to complete daily activities due to pain intensity. Based on the severity of the damage to the hip joint, Dr. Pritchett may recommend total hip replacement or hip resurfacing.

Hip Resurfacing

Unlike total hip replacement, which includes the total removal and replacement of both the femoral head and the rounded socket of the hip joint, hip resurfacing does not include the complete removal of the femoral head. During hip resurfacing, the femoral head is trimmed to remove the damaged bone and cartilage then covered with a metal shell. The damaged socket is removed and replaced with a metal and plastic prosthetic implant.

Hip resurfacing is typically recommended for younger patients with strong bones. There are several advantages to hip resurfacing including more natural movement, greater range of motion, and decreased risk of dislocation.

Robotic Assisted Surgery Procedure

Recent technological advances allow surgeons to perform more efficient and accurate surgical procedures than ever before. Robotic-assisted surgery is a surgical technique used during joint replacement procedures. Traditional hip replacement procedures are completed through a larger incision, but with the addition of robotic computer assistance, the procedure can be completed with greater precision. Robotic assisted surgery is the next generation of technology beyond computer-assisted surgery (CAS).

During a robotic assisted surgical procedure, Dr. Pritchett will insert special tracking devices into a small incision in the pelvis that calculate the precise position of the damaged areas. A computer screen in the operating room will display an interactive model of the patient’s hip joint, which provides Dr. Pritchett with precise measurements and details of the patient’s anatomy.

Benefits of Robotic Assisted Surgery

Robotic assisted surgical techniques have many advantages including less scarring and a fast recovery but can also decrease the visualization of the operating area during the procedure. Computer-assisted surgery allows for better visualization during minimally invasive surgical procedures by providing Dr. Pritchett with comprehensive data during surgery, which helps to determine the exact placement of the prosthesis.

Accurate placement of the prosthesis should decrease the amount of wear on the joint post-surgery, decrease the likelihood of dislocation, and extend the life of the implant. The benefits of computer-assisted surgery also include: less scarring, less disruption of the surrounding tissue during surgery, shorter rehabilitation period, short hospital stay, and more natural hip movement.

Robotic Assisted Surgery for Hip Resurfacing in Seattle, WA

James W. Pritchett, MD, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in hip and shoulder resurfacing. Dr. Pritchett provides treatment to patients in the Seattle, Washington area including the cities of Kirkland, Issaquah, Redmond, and Bellevue. To learn more about robotic-assisted surgery and hip resurfacing, schedule an appointment with Dr. Pritchett at his office (206) 323-1900.

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Last Modified: September 8, 2017