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Blackrock Clinic’s new robot offers more precision and accuracy for joint replacement surgery

The Blackrock Clinic has introduced a new precision robot for joint replacement surgery. This move which can have a major impact on how such surgeries are performed in the coming years.

Stryker’s Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery device offers advantages over traditional surgery. Its software is individualised to allow more accuracy during a joint replacement procedure.

Slight misplacement of the blade will not happen. This is because the robotic system will not allow it. It warns the surgical team if there is even minor deviation from the pre-operative and intra-operative plan.

Mr. Niall Hogan is a consultant in orthopaedic surgery. He is the first of a team of surgeons at the Blackrock Clinic who has used the new robot. He believes that the technology could play an important role in the surgical field in the coming years. It is thus benefiting patients and surgeons alike.

Mr Hogan spoke about his experience

“Performing knee surgery using Mako helps ensure there is less dissection. It is therefore less trauma to the soft tissues. What we have seen so far in Blackrock is very positive. This is in terms of patient recovery and knee range of movement post-operatively.

“Not only is the device more accurate than traditional techniques during surgery. It also allows surgeons to pre-plan procedures and deliver that more personalised care to the patient.

As more surgeons are trained in the use of this type of robotic system for joint replacement, an ever-greater number of surgical procedures will likely be robot-assisted. It is not just for knee surgery but other joints too.

The UK’s National Health Service already use similar equipment extensively. Major medical institutions, and research published in the British Medical Journal has stated that “robotic-assisted TKA surgeries are more capable of improving mechanical alignment and prosthesis implantation when compared with conventional surgery.”

The new robot in the Blackrock Clinic was first used to treat patient Patrick O’Connor. He underwent a total knee replacement.

Prior to this, he was experiencing severe difficulty in walking. It was proving to be a major obstacle to him in his role as a football coach. After undergoing the procedure, and with the help of post-op physiotherapy sessions in the Blackrock Clinic, he is now looking forward to getting back to regular exercise.

Patrick O’Connor spoke about his joint replacement surgery

“The recovery is going very well, and I can now walk further than I did prior to the surgery. I am going to build on this progress. I look forward to getting back into walking and cycling,” he said.

“For people suffering from serious knee problems, my strong advice would be not to put off seeking treatment. Care is available, thanks to technologies like robot assisted surgery. Now people like me can look forward to the prospect of getting back to normal, and resuming the activities they love.”

Mr. Hogan added that the introduction of cutting edge robotic equipment would continue to benefit patients in the Blackrock Clinic. This will be due to the technology improving.

“The more technological support which surgeons have at our disposal, the better able we will be to carry out both routine and complex procedures.

“What we are witnessing now is the beginning of a new era in orthopaedic surgical technology. It is one where patients will benefit from technological advances. This is while bringing a reduction in patient pain and a reduction in hospital stays, not to mention improved functionality,” he concluded.

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