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WHAT IS IT AND WHEN IS IT USED? Defined as revolutionary treatment of osteoarthritis, one of the most frequent degenerative diseases of the human body and leading cause of disability in the adult population. In recent years, Greece has successfully adopted robotic-arm assisted total knee arthroplasty (ROSAΤΜ). This provides orthopedic patients with a solution, when daily mobility such as walking causes disabling pain, on account of bone on bone friction in the joint due to cartilage deterioration, the tissue that under normal conditions reduces friction and absorbs shocks. Knee arthroplasty, the replacement of a damaged joint with an artificial one, is generally recommended to patients after ineffective conventional treatment and persistence of knee dysfunction, concurrently with the risk of damaging remaining healthy joints (e.g. contralateral knee or hip bones). Compared to other contemporary techniques, the main benefit of robotic-arm assisted total knee arthroplasty (ROSAΤΜ) is the increased surgical precision and efficacy, and consequentially, the higher success rate. Moreover, accurate anatomical custom fit of new joints extends the life of knee implants.

PREOPERATIVE PHASE AND SURGERY In preparation for surgery, a specialized CT scan of the knee provides 3D imaging of the knee joint anatomy. Subsequently, data is processed by the ROSAΤΜ system software in order to generate a patient-specific preoperative plan unique to the anatomy of the patient. Based on this virtual model, the specialized surgeon performs the operation: the robotic arm is guided with precision within the pre-defined three-dimensional area, allowing the surgeon to make adjustments to the plan during surgery, if needed. The new joint is fitted with excellent accuracy and in a virtually certified way by use of the robotic arm.

WHICH ARE THE ADVANTAGES? In addition to precision and efficacy, other benefits of robotic-arm assisted total knee arthroplasty include the ability to treat early stages of osteoarthritis, reduced blood loss during surgical operation, intraoperative assessment of joint stability, decrease of surgical complications, sharp decrease in revision surgery rates, and accelerated mobilization and recovery.

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER SURGERY? As a general rule, after 24 postoperative hours, the patient can walk with assistive equipment. A new knee X-ray is reassessed by the surgeon and the suitable rehabilitation physiotherapy program is recommended. Return to daily activities depends on the patient’s age, sex, strain rate on joints, physical condition, weight, as well as other factors. Studies show that driving after knee arthroplasty is possible 4 to 6 weeks later.

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