Stormont Vail offering new technology for total knee replacements

Published: Apr. 11, 2021 at 6:14 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Since the start of February, Stormont Vail Health and Cotton O’Neil Orthopedics and Sports Medicine began using a new “Rosa” robotic operation system for total knee replacements.

Dr. Michael Tilley said the robot ensures accuracy for the surgeon, a faster recovery time and longer-lasting relief for patients that leave Stormont Vail Orthopedics following it.

“Whether that’s range of motion, how the knee feels to them, the pain control, how quickly they get back to the things that they want to do. What this allows us do, is it allows us to put the implants in very, very precisely,” he said. “Especially on some of the complex deformity cases and stuff like that, that we can do. It also allows us to individualize the way we put the knee replacement in into each specific patient.”

The new technology, and the first of its kind in the region according to Tilley, allows the doctors to create a personalized plan for the individual getting the surgery by using 2-D x-rays, then it creates a 3-D virtual image of the knee. He said the technology allows them to find more precise measurements and information, thus having more accuracy once performing a total knee replacement surgery.

“If we want to tweak the knee a few degrees here and there, adjust things up and down a little bit, we can do all that and take in their particular ligaments, constraint around their knee or how tight their ligaments are or loose their ligaments are, we can take that into account before we ever make and adjust our plan for that before we ever put the saw to the bone,” he said.

He said this is giving the patients the latest technology to offer in NE Kansas, which is what they are always striving for.

“It’s kind of the first one in this region and so, you know, I think it’s something that we provide to the community and they should be looking to take advantage of,” he said.

Tilley still operates on the knee alongside his help within the surgery room. The “Rosa” machine is a tool.

“It’s the same operation. You’re doing the same steps, you just make the robot work for you. There is a lot more information that you’re given as a surgeon for it, so there’s more decisions and stuff to be made. More little small adjustments then what we would traditionally do in a total knee replacement with traditional instrumentation,” he said.

The pain doesn’t go away because of the tool. Patients will still have post-operation pain and check-ups, but Tilley said the tool can help them before they put in what the need for the knee. That it allows patients to recover quicker and better than before because of the precision.

“it’s just now I can take what was a very subjective thing to me in the past -- now, is very objective. We have real numbers to tell me how lax that ligament is and I can make all the little adjustments now that I made throughout the case I can do all that planning before we ever start prepping the knee to put the parts in,” he said.

Stormont said the robotic tool only works for total knee replacements at this time, but other variations of robots for hip replacements is in the works.

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