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Robotic Total Knee Replacement

What is robotic knee replacement?


Conventional knee replacement surgery relies on manual instruments to insert the implant into the knee. These sometimes do not provide sufficient accuracy which may result in discomfort, stiffness or reduced range of motion. Robotic-assisted surgery ensures the ideal placement of the prosthetic components with adequate ligament tension and potentially with less damage to soft tissues. Short term studies showed quicker recovery and better function after robotic knee replacements compared to conventional ones.

What is involved?

If you decide for robotic knee replacement you have the option of having a special scan to build a picture of your knee which is fed into the robot to speed up the surgery. The robot can be used without a scan, but this will add a few minutes to the operating time.

  • Preparing for your operation

    • You need to be as fit as possible to minimise the risk of complications and to ensure a speedy and smooth recovery. You will have a pre-assessment to identify any correctable abnormalities such as high blood pressure, anaemia​ and diabetes. It is advised that you stop smoking and try to loose weight if applicable. If you have a BMI of 40 or more we may have to postpone your surgery until you can loose some weight.

    • We will provide you with access to the moveUP service to prepare you for your joint replacement journey with base line measurements  and pre-surgery exercises to rehabilitation afterwards.

  • Surgical procedure

    • Knee replacement requires a general or spinal anaesthetic and the consultant carrying this out will discuss with you which one is best considering your circumstances and preferences.

    • During surgery a cut is made over the front of the knee and the joint is exposed. One or two small additional cuts are used to place trackers to the thigh and shin bones so the robotic cameras can follow your knee in space.

    • The damaged joint surfaces are removed using saw via a cutting jig held by the robotic arm and the bone is ​prepared for the artificial components. The implants are fixed to the bone using special bone cement. To conclude the operation the soft tissues and the skin are carefully closed with dissolvable sutures.

  • Recovery

    • We aim to get you out of bed on the day of your operation. We will keep you comfortable using the least possible amount of pain medication. Our physiotherapists will show you how to get in and out of bed safely and the use of any walking aid you may require. Most patients leave hospital after one or two nights.
      We will give you an exercise program for home and our physiotherapists will assess your progress regularly.

What are the benefits?

  • All knee replacements aim to provide pain relief, increase range of movement and correct bow or knock knee deformities.

  • Robotic knee replacements have the added benefits of achieving this in more patients consistently.

  • There is less bleeding as the the canal of the thighbone does not need to be opened.

  • Less damage to the soft tissues.

  • More natural feel to the knee. 

What are the risks?


Serious complications are overall rare and the benefit of surgery should far outweigh the risks. However, it is important that you understand these in detail so that you are able to make an informed decision. Learn more.

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