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Total Hip Arthroplasty: How Robotics can Help on This Surgery

Total hip arthroplasty (THA) surgery is one of the most successful surgeries, with over 95% survivorship at 10-years’ follow-up and with positive clinical outcomes. Robotics and computer-assisted navigation have been developed to increase the accuracy of hip implant placement and improve long-term outcomes of total hip arthroplasty (THA). These technologies have shown significant improvements in implant positioning when compared to conventional techniques.

In order to prevent femoral osteolysis, a hip replacement requires a strong and complete osseointegration. Over the last decade, new surgical tools have gained access to the operating room, including computer navigation and robotic assistance. Robotic and computer assisted technologies have shown significant improvements in implant positioning when compared to older techniques.The first active robotic system designed to be used in orthopedic procedures was based on a traditional computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing system – Robodoc.

Although the operation can be a success, it can also be very challenging to perform in certain patients with pre-existing health problems, such as obesity, or with complex deformities due to childhood diseases or trauma.

Most of the times, surgeons rely on their experience and judgement to correctly place the components of a hip replacement – experienced surgeons can find it difficult to accurately place the prosthesis in the correct orientation.

The use of robotics in the operating room makes the operation safer and more precise, regardless the surgeon’s experience. When performed by a robot, the planning of the surgical procedure needs to be done by a specialized engineer in collaboration with the surgeon.

Even though the surgeon continues to carry all the responsibility for the success of the operation, the robot is the one executing the plan. Nowadays, with the technological advancements, the potential of robotics is growing exponentially.

However, the development of orthopedic robots has been limited due to a growing concern over the possible dangers behind such advancements. They are only a step away from performing an independent surgery.

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