NorthShore University HealthSystem first in Illinois to perform remarkable robotic arm guided partial knee replacement surgery

Evanston 11 September 2009NorthShore University HealthSystem orthopaedic surgeons are the first in Illinois and the region to use a new and innovative robotic technology for minimally-invasive partial knee replacement surgery. The technology, powered by an interactive robotic arm and a three-dimensional computer navigation system, provides precise and consistent surgical results for people who have early to mid-stage osteo-arthritis of the medial (inner), the patellofemoral (front) or both portions of the knee.

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"While partial knee replacement surgery is not new", stated Michael O'Rourke, M.D., director of the Total Joint Replacement Center at NorthShore-Glenbrook Hospital, "this robotic technology is revolutionizing the way the surgery is performed. It enables surgeons to be accurate and safe in the least invasive way possible. Partial knee replacements allow a person to resume activity sooner and experience a more natural feel to the knee."

"The robotic component takes computer assisted surgery to an exciting new level because it allows a highly technical procedure to be performed in a very precise, reproducible and consistent way", added William J. Robb III, M.D., head of NorthShore's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

This remarkable technology allows surgeons to isolate and remove only the arthritic or damaged portion of the knee through a smaller incision than conventional surgery. This preserves the surrounding healthy bone and tissue. It also allows surgeons to precisely position an orthopaedic implant in the knee joint to restore knee function.

The ideal candidate for this procedure is someone who has tissue damage in the inner or front part of the knee, cruciate ligaments (cross-shaped ligaments in the knee joint) that function close to normal and good range-of-motion. The procedure takes 90-minutes and includes a short hospital stay. Many patients are able to return to an active lifestyle within weeks of the procedure.

The process begins with a pre-operative CT scan of the patient's knee. The robotic system uses the scan to create a 3D live-action, virtual view of the patient's bone surface, which helps the surgeon identify the exact alignment, position and size of the implant as it relates to the patient's anatomy and knee function. The system then maps the 3D image to the interactive robotic arm. As the surgeon uses the robotic arm, its tactile - voice, visual and touch - direction limits the surgical activity to the diseased areas only and provides for optimal implant positioning and placement.

"The surgeon is able to control every aspect of the procedure because the robot provides the information intra-operatively in real time. It provides a window of safety and ultimately helps the doctor achieve an optimal outcome for the patient", stated Michael O'Rourke. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) reports that osteo-arthritis is the most common form of arthritis and a leading cause of disability worldwide.

Headquartered in Evanston, Illinois, NorthShore University HealthSystem is a comprehensive, fully integrated, health care delivery system that serves the greater North Shore and northern Illinois communities. The system includes four Hospitals - Evanston Hospital, Glenbrook Hospital, Highland Park Hospital and Skokie Hospital. In addition, the health system has more than 2400 affiliated physicians, including a 600-physician, multi-specialty physician group practice with over 70 office locations - NorthShore University HealthSystem Medical Group. Further, NorthShore is committed to excellence in its academic mission and supports teaching and research as the principal teaching affiliate for the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.

The NorthShore University HealthSystem Research Institute focuses on clinical and translational research, including leadership in outcomes research and clinical trials. The NorthShore University HealthSystem Foundation is a philanthropic entity of NorthShore. It raises charitable contributions, engages volunteer friends and invests in community partnerships.

NorthShore has annual revenues of $1,5 billion and a staff of more than 8000. The HealthSystem has significant capabilities in a wide spectrum of clinical programmes, including cancer, heart, orthopaedics, high-risk maternity and paediatrics. NorthShore is a national expert in the implementation of innovative technologies, including electronic medical records, (EMR). In 2003, the HealthSystem was among the first in the country to successfully launch a systemwide EMR with demonstrable benefits in quality, safety, efficiency and service to patients. NorthShore has been recognized by multiple national organisations for this notable achievement.


Source: NorthShore University HealthSystem

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