Orthopaedic surgeries are very complex, and there have been many advancements that help doctors today. The use of robotic technologies in the surgery field is a major development. Robots are used to do a lot of things that were earlier done manually. Automation and robotic processes not only reduce the burden on human shoulders but also increase the efficiency and speed of tasks. In a field as complex as orthopaedic surgery, robotic arms and equipment have stepped in to make surgeries faster and more accurate. In hospitals with limited human professionals, such technologies give doctors an advantage. However, like every technology, robotic joint replacement equipment also has certain disadvantages. In this article, the two sides of the coin are discussed for a balanced viewpoint.
The Advantages Of Robotic Joint Replacement
There are many advantages of robotic joint replacement that benefit doctors and patients. These advantages are as follows-
Better planning and execution- When robotic equipment is used to conduct the joint replacement surgery, better planning and execution can occur. The robotic equipment provides a massive advantage of accuracy. With this accuracy level, errors in the surgical procedure are avoided. When the errors are zero or minimal, the doctor is able to create a foolproof plan of surgery and execute it without any issues.
Optimisation of joints– before the joint replacement surgery is done, the doctor has to optimise the new joint according to the body of the patient. This optimisation process could be done by humans, but the accuracy of the process is better with technological equipment. The robotic setup allows the doctor to optimise each replacement joint so that the joint perfectly fits into the body. When the joint fits the body perfectly, any post-surgical complications are avoided. The post-surgical risks from manual surgery are minimised with the use of robotic joint replacement.
Avoiding a second procedure– In manual joint replacement surgery, there are higher risks of complications. These risks can lead to the chance of a second surgery. A second surgery is challenging not only for the doctor but also for the patient. The accuracy and efficiency of robotic joint replacement ensure that the patient does not have to go through the pain of surgery again. Instead, the patient and the doctors can focus on recovery and rehabilitation.
Better imaging and less blood loss– Robotic joint replacement has the advantage of clear imaging and planning through the use of cameras. The clarity of visualisation and positioning helps localise the surgery so that there is less blood loss. The injury and blood loss due to robotic joint replacement is lower than that of manual joint replacement surgery. Robotic joint replacement surgery is safer for the patient than the manual mode. Because there is less blood loss and the surgery is quicker, the rehabilitation time is also shorter. The patient can, therefore, go back to his normal life at a faster pace. Without post-op complications and risks, the patient can fully concentrate on recovery and rehabilitation.
Disadvantages of Robotic Joint Replacement
There are some consequences of robotic joint replacement that can be disadvantageous for doctors and patients. Doctors and researchers are continuing research in the area so that the drawbacks of robotic joint replacement procedures are resolved. The progressive improvements in robotic processes and the use of AI can help make robotic joint replacements better in the future. The present disadvantages of robotic joint replacement are as follows-
· Takes more time- because the use of robotic equipment is very limited and new, the robotic procedure takes more time to complete than traditional joint replacement surgery.
· Dependence on data- robotic equipment is dependent on the data gathered by imaging and scanning equipment. Therefore, the hospital has to focus on getting not only the most advanced robotic equipment but also high-quality imaging and support equipment. Maintaining the technical resources needed for a robotic joint replacement surgery can be challenging for doctors and hospitals.
· Risks- It is true that if the robotic equipment works in a perfect way and gets accurate data, it can reduce the chances of pain. However, in cases of unclear data and wrong manoeuvre, the robotic equipment might cause more pain. To complete robotic joint replacement surgery, a hospital needs the best-trained and tech-savvy doctors. Not every hospital will have the manpower needed to operate robotic surgical equipment.
· Cost of the procedure- Joint replacement surgery is a very common surgery that many people need due to accidents, arthritis, or ageing. However, not everyone can afford a robotics-aided procedure. The cost of robotic joint replacement surgery is higher than the traditional method. Only some people with financial resources can go for robotic joint replacement. Doctors have to work towards making robotic joint replacement surgery more accessible and affordable.
These are the advantages and disadvantages of robotic joint replacement surgery. To make the procedure more accurate and successful, doctors have to improve the equipment and find ways of minimising the cons of the equipment and procedure. Making the robotic joint replacement procedure affordable will also make it more widespread.