Robotics for Knee Surgery

woman in distress“Knee replacement surgery is one of the most common and most successful surgical procedures performed in all of medicine. Nevertheless, we are always working on perfecting our surgical technique and the implant materials to make our surgical outcomes even better,” says orthopedic surgeon Steven Nishiyama, DO, PhD.

One way surgeons are doing this at Valley Hospital is with robotics technology to further individualize treatment for each patient. “During surgery, the surgeon and robot work in tandem to create a 3-dimensional virtual map of the patient’s knee from which a surgeon can create a custom, real-time, individualized, virtual surgical plan for each patient based off of their own anatomy and surgical needs,” Dr. Nishiyama explains. “The technology is able to account for minuscule anatomic differences that can help a surgeon more accurately and more reliably execute the surgical plan.”

Robotics for Spine Surgery

New robotics technology is also being used at Centennial Hills and Henderson hospitals for patients needing spine surgery for degenerative disc disease and other conditions.

“This technology combines computer navigation and robotics to deliver precise minimally invasive spine surgery in the Las Vegas Valley,” says Kevin R. Sharif, MD, who performed the first case at Henderson Hospital using the Mazor X Stealth™ Edition Robotic Guidance Platform. For patients, benefits of this technology can include reduced exposure to radiation; a smaller and more precise area of operating on the spine due to the 3D imagery; an anticipated faster recovery time; and lower rates of infection.

I. Michael Schneier, MD, who performed the first case at Centennial Hills Hospital, says, “Surgical robotics is not the future – it is very much here, at the present time, and I believe it has become the standard of care at Centennial Hills Hospital Medical Center.”

Pain Management for Knee Surgery

Managing pain is key to getting patients back on their feet and recovering after orthopedic surgery. To support patients following knee surgery, Centennial Hills Hospital is the first acute care hospital in Las Vegas that offers the Iovera° treatment as part of its pre-operative pain management treatment for primary and revision total knee replacement surgery.

The Iovera° treatment is a clinically proven, nonopioid, pain management solution that uses the body’s natural response to cold to relieve pain. “Iovera is a revolutionary system for post-op pain control in knee surgery,” said Ronald Hillock, MD, orthopedic surgeon. “It offers a 90-day block to pain, something we have only dreamed of achieving prior to this time. It will enhance the surgical experience for all our knee surgery patients.”

Taking Care of Knees and Hips

To help support hard-working joints, Steven Nishiyama, DO, PhD, stresses good health habits. “The keys to keeping your knees and hips in good health include weight reduction, regular physical activity and low-impact exercises,” he says. “Keeping a healthy diet and controlling blood sugar are also vital.”

Three kinds of exercise are important for people with hip and knee pain, he adds. These include range-of-motion exercises like yoga or Pilates; aerobic exercises, such as walking, cycling, swimming; and strengthening exercises like weight training or resistance training.

Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if minimally invasive or robotic surgery is right for you.