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Trinity orthopedic surgeon used robotic surgical assistant in knee replacement surgery

Andrea Johnson/MDN Orthopedic surgeons Dr. Cody Pehrson, left, and Dr. Brent Knudson, right, show off the new Zimmer Biomet ROSA Knee System on Thursday during a press conference at Trinity Health East. Knudson performed a total knee replacement using robotic technology on Jan. 11.

Orthopedic surgeons at Trinity Health say that robotic technology is the wave of the future for knee replacement surgeries and will become the new standard of care.

Dr. Brent Knudson performed the region’s first total knee replacement on Jan. 11 using Trinity’s new Zimmer Biomet ROSA Knee System.

ROSA stands for robotic surgical assistant.

Knudson said the robotic technology enables the surgeon to gather information about how best to position a knee implant before he makes the first cut.

“Getting a precise knee implant fit is important to a patient’s comfort and overall experience,” said Knudson in information provided by Trinity. “ROSA Knee uses data collected before and during surgery to provide details related to a patient’s unique anatomy that are pertinent to the implant fit. By using that data to make more informed decisions during surgery, we can carry out a personalized surgical procedure and position the implant based on a patient’s individual needs.”

Submitted Photo The new Zimmer Biomet ROSA Knee System is pictured in this material provided by Trinity Health.

Optical trackers are attached to a patient’s leg and a camera is used. If a patient moves, however slightly, the robot will adjust its position accordingly, according to Trinity. The robot only moves when the surgeon orders it to move. The surgeons say the robot is yet another tool that will enable them to better serve patients.

“The decision to undergo a joint replacement can be a difficult one for patients,” said Dr. Cody Pehrson, an orthopedic surgeon who is also trained to use the new robotic technology, in information provided by Trinity. “Robotically-assisted technology with its key benefits has the potential to make it an easier choice. It brings together robotic technology with industry-leading knee implants to help us personalize surgical procedures for patients.”

Patients will have a choice whether to use the robotic technology for a surgery and there will be no additional cost to patients who do opt for it, according to the surgeons.

Optional procedures had been postponed in many cases due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic but the surgeons say that surgeries have been rescheduled and they are nearly back to a full surgical schedule. Up to 200 to 300 orthopedic surgeries could be performed at Trinity each year.

While they do not yet have enough numbers to judge the outcomes of orthopedic surgeries performed using robotic technology, they hope that it will ultimately result in better outcomes for patients since robotic technology allows for more precision.

For more information, contact Trinity Health Orthopedics at 857-5500.

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