If you’re suffering from knee pain or stiffness, you may already have looked into knee replacement surgery as a way to return to a pain-free daily life.
While the long-term prognosis for patients undergoing this type of surgery varies from one patient to the next, new robotic technology available right here on the Olympic Peninsula has surgeons excited about the potential for better, longer-lasting results for all patients.
The Orthopedic Program at Jefferson Healthcare in Port Townsend is well established, with approximately 120 joint replacements – knees and hips – performed each year. But as orthopedic surgeon Dr. Paul Naumann says, the addition of robotics in planning and carrying out surgeries takes their program to the next level.
“The robotic assist helps us plan the placement of the prosthesis before surgery. It’s another tool in increasing accuracy,” he says. “I think it improves the outcome for patients. It improves their range of motion and the longevity of the implanted device.”
Multiple uses for robotic assist
While some patients’ level of joint degeneration requires a resurfacing of all elements of the knee and implantation of prostheses, the assistance of robotics allows surgeons to do partial knee replacements, which hasn’t been an option in the past at Jefferson Healthcare.
“It’s a bridging surgery in which we can replace any of the three individual compartments in the knee – the medial, lateral and patello-femoral,” Dr. Naumann says.
Younger patients now have options
With partial replacements now an alternative to more extensive surgeries, it’s expected that younger, more active patients will have the procedure done, allowing for a return to the activities you love, from sports to walking or hiking, and more. And given the increased surgical precision with using the robotic equipment, patients’ recovery time can be reduced, Dr. Naumann says – some surgeries require only an overnight hospital stay rather than the typical two to three days.
Doctors well prepared for new age of surgery
Dr. Naumann, Medical Director for the Orthopedic Program at Jefferson Healthcare, and fellow surgeon Dr. Edward Eissmann undertook significant training on the Navio robotic system in advance of performing the first surgery Jan. 6. While the center’s comprehensive orthopedic program has provided relief for thousands of people, Dr. Naumann believes the use of robotics at Jefferson Healthcare will soon become the standard of care.
To learn more about your options for knee replacement surgery, call to book a consultation at 360-344-0400 or visit jeffersonhealthcare.org.