Robotic Knee Surgery in Seattle, WA
Over recent decades, there have been significant advancements in the realm of orthopedic diagnostics and damage repair. In addition, sophisticated procedures, such as those for hip resurfacing, robotic and navigation tools and systems are being applied for the minimally invasive correction of knee injuries. Dr. Pritchett and his team are consistently working to master and apply these surgical offerings, providing the highest quality care and treatment to the benefit of patients.
Types of Knee Damage
The knee is composed of a complex system of bones, cartilage, and ligaments. While injury can be incurred, either through degenerative disease or traumatic injury, to any or all of these areas, damage is typically categorized in accordance with the knee compartments impacted - medial, lateral, and/or patellofemoral. Less severe conditions are the most applicable for non- or minimally invasive treatment approaches, while more advanced damage may necessitate a more robust replacement procedure. In cases of knee replacement, if only one compartment necessitates repair, a unicompartmental surgical approach will most likely be employed. Unlike a total knee replacement, a partial intervention will allow a greater quantity of natural bone and cartilage to be maintained. In many cases, younger, more active patients will be the best candidates for unicompartmental repair, as damage is typically less advanced in nature.
Robotic Surgery: Approach and Benefits
Robotic knee surgery offers a minimally invasive option for the removal of diseased bone and cartilage, requiring less cutting than a traditional operative approach. As a result, patients undergoing robotic treatment for cartilage or ligament injuries may experience an expedited return to physical activities. Likewise, for those requiring a partial replacement effort, the robot-based tools may allow for a more precise prosthetic positioning, which may provide improved mechanical alignment and balance.
Prior to pursuing robotic-assisted operation, the orthopedic team will complete a range of diagnostic tests, including an x-ray and/or MRI, in order to determine an exact surgical plan. Potential benefits of robotic knee surgery include, but are not limited to:
- Reduced cutting and associated bleeding
- Faster recovery times
- “More natural” post-op knee performance and feeling
- Potential increases in prosthetic longevity
Recovery and Long-Term Expectations
Specific recovery time will vary according to the specific condition treated, as well as the level of intervention required. Patients undergoing cartilage removal or similar procedures often report significant benefits within 1-2 weeks of surgery. Those recovering from a partial knee replacement should expect a longer recovery timeline, as it may be 3-4 weeks before select everyday activities, such as unassisted standing, can be resumed. Before undertaking any knee surgery, Dr. Pritchett will prepare the patient for expected outcomes and associated timelines.
While reduced with the minimally invasive approach, there are still risks associated with any knee surgery procedure. Any extended discomfort, fever, abnormal bleeding, or other symptoms of concern should be reported for immediate medical attention. In addition, should re-injury or further degeneration occur, a later revision surgery may be required to either expand repair efforts or replace any prosthetic components.
Dr. Pritchett and Modern Knee Correction
Dr. Pritchett specializes in the use of advanced techniques for the treatment of orthopedic conditions, including knee damage associated with sports injuries or osteoarthritis. If experiencing knee pain or disability, contact his Seattle office for an appointment today.
Last Modified: July 30, 2014