Robotic Joint Replacement & Spine Surgery

Robotic surgery is one of the newest technological developments in the field of orthopedic surgery, and it has applications in both joint replacement and spine surgery. Augusta-Aiken Orthopedic Specialists is pleased to be able to bring this technology to the patients in our community to improve outcomes and recovery.

Our joint replacement surgeons Dr. John Bojescul, Dr. Justin Head, Dr. Jeremy Jacobs, and Dr. David Gallagher offer robotic surgery options for hip and knee replacements. Spine specialist Dr. Justin Bundy is trained in robotic navigation for lumbar spinal fusions. Our surgeons frequently continue their training to bring the best surgical options to patients in our Augusta-Aiken community.

What is Robotic Surgery?

Patients often have questions about the use of robotics for joint replacements and spine surgery, what it entails, and how it improves recovery and results.

It’s important to note that the robotic devices are not actually performing the procedure. The surgeon is still fully in control and actually performing the surgery. Robotics are merely a tool to guide the surgery, helping with things like determining proper alignment of a joint and determining proper placement of joint implants and spinal hardware. It provides the surgeon with important information which allows for better planning and positioning during the hip, knee, or spine procedure.

It is also important to note that the implants and hardware used for the procedure are the same ones that might be used during a regular non-robotic procedure; the implants themselves are not robotic.

Benefits of robotic surgery include:

  • More accurate implant or hardware placement
  • Greater joint alignment after the procedure
  • Smaller incisions
  • Less blood loss
  • Potential for faster recovery compared to traditional procedures

Robotic Hip & Knee Replacements

Robotic hip and knee replacements, like traditional joint replacement procedures, involve removing the damaged portions of the joint and replacing them with implants to reduce joint pain and improve function. Our surgeons do total hip replacements and both total and partial knee replacement with robotics.

Most practices only utilize one robotic joint replacement system, but our team can offer joint replacements with the Corin OMNI system and the Stryker Mako system. There are benefits to each system that can help improve upon results for patients. Some robotic joint replacement systems, including Mako, require a CAT scan prior to surgery to create a 3D model of the joint; other systems, including the OMNI, do not. The use of both systems allows us to offer both options to patients who may have specific needs or preferences.

Both the OMNI and Mako robotic systems can help with improving joint alignment and ensuring proper implant placement, which can lead to better long-term results for patients. Accurate implant placement can help the new joint to feel more “natural,” and can decrease the risk of dislocation after hip replacement.

Recovering from Robotic Joint Replacement

Most robotic joint replacements are outpatient procedures, unless the patient has a condition that requires overnight monitoring. Patients will meet with a physical therapist before going home.

Hip replacement patients are usually feeling better with less pain within the first few days to a few weeks. There are few long-term restrictions, but it is important to be careful of squatting too deep or crossing the legs to minimize the risk of dislocation. Knee replacements can take a bit longer to recover from; patients usually feel better around the 6-week mark, and are walking without assistive devices within 3 months. By the 6-month mark, pain has typically almost completely subsided. While there are few restrictions, patients with knee replacements should avoid kneeling until fully recovered. Patients with both hip and knee replacements should avoid running unless necessary.

Robotic Spine Surgery

Robotic navigation devices can also be used in spine surgery for lumbar spinal fusions. This can be a particularly good option for a patient who has previously had spine surgery or has a difficult anatomy. Although these navigation devices work the same way as robotics, they are actually an augmented reality system.

The spine surgery system that Dr. Bundy uses is called the Xvision system. It differs from the robotic joint replacement systems in that it is a headset that uses augmented reality to create a 3D visual of the spine using a CAT scan that is done in the operating room. This creates a much higher level of detail for visualizing the spine to place the fusion hardware than would be possible with traditional surgical approaches. It allows the surgeon to see the structure of the patient’s spine without having to refer to a separate screen as with most navigation devices.

Compared to a typical spinal fusion procedure, the recovery timelines are the same.

Robotic Joint Replacement & Spine Surgery in Augusta & Aiken

At Augusta-Aiken Orthopedic Specialists, our surgeons are constantly continuing their education to provide the latest and best options to patients in our community. Our joint replacement surgeons Dr. John Bojescul, Dr. Justin Head, Dr. Jeremy Jacobs, and Dr. David Gallagher are trained in robotic joint replacement procedures, while our spine surgeon Dr. Justin Bundy is trained in robotic technology for lumbar spinal fusions.

If you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our surgeons, please call our office at 706-863-9797 (Augusta) or 803-649-2250 (Aiken), or use our convenient appointment request form.