A new robotic surgeon is performing operations to astounding results, cutting knee replacement surgery recovery time in patients down drastically. Patients receiving the procedure are checking themselves into the OR, undergoing the surgery and leaving the same day — sometimes, already walking out of the doors on their own with the aid of a cane.
Robotic knee pain relief
Rio the robot has been completing knee replacement surgeries under the supervision of skilled human surgeons in hospitals across the United States, though the procedure is by no means widespread. Before the surgery, a CT scan gives the doctors (including Rio) a fully 3D view of the knee inside and out. Computer sensors show doctors exactly where the knee is, which makes replacement of that knee easier and more precise. Sensors keep running during the knee replacement, updating data in real time. Rio tracks the entire operation to ensure pinpoint accuracy throughout. The entire procedure is mapped out on the screen before the first incision is made.
Rio, the robot, does the cutting to completely eliminate human error. Once the “bad” parts of the knee are cut away, the new knee is added. The patient is stitched up and hours later knee replacement surgery recovery is already well underway with the aid of a physical therapist. One man who received the surgery in an Indiana hospital was walking around on his new knee with a cane just 6 hours later.
Physicians believe the addition of the robotic surgeon will revolutionize knee surgery in the years to come. Patients receiving the procedure don’t even need general anesthesia; an epidural is usually enough to dull pain throughout the surgery. Patients who are seeking quick knee pain relief have every reason to feel optimistic that knee replacement surgery recovery will be greatly reduced by the addition of robo-doctors in the operating room.
Traditional knee replacement
More traditional knee replacement surgery recovery periods may range from several weeks to many months, with a long period of physical therapy. Many factors can contribute to recovery time, including painkiller use prior to the surgery itself. Doctors using the robotic surgery aid say that pinpoint accuracy makes for a more precise surgery that lessens traditional recovery times.
But sufferers don’t have to have surgery to get knee pain relief. For many, surgery is a last resort. Many over-the-counter supplements help to relieve and reduce pain. Sufferers may also try physical therapy and exercise methods to reduce their pain. If pain is chronic and degeneration severe, however, eventually knee replacement may be unavoidable.