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Sports / Orthopedic

Dr. Mudrick Explains How Robotic Technology is Completely Changing the Knee Replacement World

May 20 2022
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The following copy was contributed by Colin Mudrick, MD, (pictured above) an orthopedic surgeon who practices at our Bon Secours – Tuckahoe Orthopedics facility.

“As a hip and knee surgeon, I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to dramatically improve people’s everyday lives. In 2022, we as doctors – and more importantly as patients – have access to medical advances, improved implant designs and new surgical technology that allow for efficient, high-quality care that continues to move the needle toward excellent patient outcomes.

Hip replacement surgery has long had very high satisfaction rates, particularly over the past 10 years. However, knee replacements have often been slightly more difficult to achieve that same level of satisfaction.

The good news is, in my opinion, we are currently experiencing somewhat of a renaissance in the knee replacement world.

There has been a perfect storm that has occurred over the past five to 10 years with the availability of robotic technology, better implants and, most importantly, surgeon understanding.

In the past, most knee surgeons were taught some variation of a ‘cookbook’ approach to the knee where the goal was to place the implants in the same fashion in every case.

What we are realizing is that each knee has its own ‘personality.’

Instead of following the same standardized approach, we are finding that it is better to understand each person’s unique anatomy and then work within the soft tissue envelope of that individual. The beauty of this approach lies in the fact that we can leave more of the native tissue undisturbed and can perform surgery in a less invasive manner. This, in turn, allows for less tissue trauma, less pain and an improved, speedier recovery.

Prior to the introduction of robotic technology, there was always a small but present margin of error with the accuracy of our bony preparation. With robotic technology, specifically the VELYS™ Robotic-Assisted Solution which works in tandem with the ATTUNE® Knee System, we can work more closely with an individual patient’s anatomy.  This system offers patients the latest technology designed to provide digital precision in knee replacement. Now, we can not only achieve our targets consistently, but we also get a digital record and can visualize what we as surgeons were only able to ‘feel’ in the past.

Robotic technology allows physicians and health care systems the opportunity to capture objective data from each individual surgery. From there, we can create a database that can provide valuable insight which can lead to even higher success rates for patients. The expectations of our patients have increased over the last 20 years. Our job as health care providers is to keep up and, hopefully, exceed these expectations.

It’s an exciting time to be a knee surgeon and witness firsthand the impact these technologic improvements are having on our patients’ lives.

I’m grateful to practice medicine in this day and age, and I feel confident as a future patient that we live in a time where these outcomes are possible.”

Learn more about the orthopedic and sports medicine services we offer at Bon Secours.


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