Robotic-assisted surgery is a step forward, an advancement over computer-assisted surgery because here the computer not only calculates the parameters for you but also dictates the robot to make bony cuts or do the acetabular reaming for you. Although still in the developmental stage it is being used in centers worldwide and has found good acceptance.
The damaged ball of the hip joint is replaced with a ceramic or metal ball which fits on top of a titanium stem that fits into the femoral canal. The acetabulum is replaced with a metal shell with a highly cross-linked polyethylene or a ceramic liner.
Robotic-assisted arthroplasty has found its way in Total hip arthroplasty, unicondylar knee arthroplasty and total knee arthroplasty. Rio-the robot works on the calculations and guidance of the computer. The computer calculates the alignment, cuts, placement based upon the feedback from the CT scans of the patient done beforehand. It then guides the robot to perform the bony procedures. In a unicondylar knee arthroplasty the robot arm assists the surgeon to bur the proximal tibia and femoral condyle to aid in implant placement in the right orientation and depth. In a total hip arthroplasty the surgeon is guided by the robotic arm in reaming the acetabulum, placement of the cup in the right position (inclination and version) and placement of stem in the right anteversion and offset.
Robotic surgery has got a role in total knee arthroplasty where the robot takes the cuts with precision and accuracy. Overall the accuracy and precision of robotic-assisted surgery is unmatched. Its implications might soon be extended to other procedures in orthopaedics.
Rio is the name of the orthopaedic robot which is being manufactured by MAKO Corporation in association with stryker.