Robots easing knee surgery in SWFL

Reporter: Amy Oshier Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:
A new robotic system designed to make knee replacement surgery and recovery smoother. (CREDIT: WINK News)

Knee replacement surgery in Cape Coral uses new robotic surgery systems designed to make the process and recovery smoother.

Dianna Valenti had two joint replacements. Her first surgery was performed years ago, in a traditional way. But, her second was in March and was an entirely new experience.

“If I didn’t have the scar there I wouldn’t have thought I had the operation,” Valenti said.

Valenti felt reluctant to even have a second joint replacement since her first required a long recovery. But, when the bone-on-bone pain got so bad that injection therapy couldn’t keep up, she was desperate for relief.

“I heard about the robot,” Valenti said. “And I said I’m gonna try it that way.”

The robot-assisted option at Cape Coral Hospital made the difference. The technological precision is a great update in the operating room.

Dr. John Thompson is an orthopedic surgeon at Advanced Orthopedics & Sports Medicine of SWFL. “This is our orthopedic robot Rosa is what it’s called,” Dr. Thompson said. “And it’s being used now for total knee replacements and total hip replacements.”

Dr. Thompson is Valenti’s surgeon. He knew this approach would make a difference. “The main advantages are that accuracy and the precision,” Dr. Thompson said.

The robot’s internal computer maps the patient’s joint and range of motion. Then directs its cutting tool to shape and remove the exact amount of bone to accommodate the joint implant.

Robots improving knee surgery process and recovery. (CREDIT: WINK News)

“It kind of communicates with the knee in real-time,” Dr. Thompson explained. “So we put little sensors around the knee so that, you know, we can plan preoperatively before we start making any sort of cuts or anything for, you know, how we want everything placed. And then in real-time, if you want to make any fine adjustments up to half a millimeter of change, then you can go back and do that.”

Those tiny variations make a huge difference. By going a long way to closely approximate the original joint. “You can adjust things up to a half a millimeter and make it perfect and balanced how you want it before you leave the OR, then I think that’s the whole goal,” Dr. Thompson said.

Valenti’s successful surgery was a dream come true. “I don’t know how to explain it,” Valeti said. “It’s just feeling good. I never thought I’d feel good again.”

A well-balanced replacement, allowing her to regain balance in her life.

Lee Health has ortho-robots at two of its hospitals. Shorepoint Health in Charlotte County also uses a robotic system for joint replacement. An added benefit of robotic surgery is less bleeding, pain, and downtime.

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