Hip replacement surgery can restore mobility and independence to many people suffering from deterioration of their bone and soft tissue due to arthritis, injury, and other problems. For years, doctors manually replaced hips. While many operations turned out well, others didn’t due to the new hip making the limb longer or shorter than the other limb. Now, with robotic-assisted surgery, hip replacement operations are overwhelmingly successful, and downtime has dramatically decreased. Apurva Dalal, MD, at Tri-State Orthopaedics in Germantown and Memphis, Tennessee, specializes in robotic-assisted hip replacement surgery, a technique that offers several advantages over traditional methods.

The scope of hip replacement surgery

Hip replacement surgery involves replacing your natural ball-and-socket hip joint with an artificial one. A metal stem with a ball on the end is implanted in the top of your femur — the large bone in your thigh — and a matching artificial socket is implanted in your hip region.

The benefits of robotic-assisted hip replacement surgery

Perhaps the biggest advantage of robotic assistance is precision. Your ability to walk naturally depends on the accurate placement of your hip prosthetics. With robotic-assisted surgeries, hips can be replaced with much more precision than can be done manually. With the Mako® robotic system, Dr. Dalal can make sure your procedure is performed exactly as it should be.

How robotic-assisted hip replacement works

Your hip replacement procedure starts with a CT scan of your hip joint, which generates a 3-D model of your bones. Dr. Dalal plans your procedure using this detailed 3-D source, and the Mako system uses this model as an exact guide.

During surgery, the Mako robotic arm uses the preprogrammed sequence to perform the operation. If needed, Dr. Dalal can adjust the parameters in real time, a benefit that helps the Mako system adapt to changing conditions during surgery. Based on the surgical plan, the arm moves only within a predefined area, preventing variances during the procedure.

One of the biggest keys to a successful hip replacement surgery is making sure the limb of the replaced hip matches the length of the other leg. Studies show that robotic-assisted surgery is five times better at matching leg length compared with conventional surgery. The angle of the hip joint is another key factor in the success of the procedure, and robotic techniques are about twice as accurate as manual surgery.

Benefits for recovery

Because of the large size of the hip joint and replacement prosthetics, incisions with manual surgery can sometimes be larger and more numerous than they need to be, leading to greater tissue disruptions. Since the Mako system is so precise, these disruptions are minimized, which may allow you to recover faster after your hip replacement. Chances are good you’ll be on your feet the same day and ready to start physical therapy in a day or two.

If you’ve struggled with pain and the limited mobility of a deteriorating hip joint, you owe it to yourself to contact Tri-State Orthopaedics online or over the phone to see if a robotic-assisted hip replacement can help you.  

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