Robotic arm ROSA helps to place total knee prosthesis more accurately

ROSA, short for Robotical Surgical Assistant, has been supporting the orthopaedists at Maria Middelares General Hospital in fitting knee replacements for several months now. This new technology allows the physicians to perform the operation with even more precision and customisation. Maria Middelares General Hospital is the first hospital in Ghent to start using this technique, and during this time they have been able to gain considerable experience.

Maria Middelares General Hospital has been using 3D-planning and 3D-printed instruments tailored to the patient's needs for knee replacements since 2014. Further evolution towards even more customisation has already begun. ROSA is very accurate and succeeds in estimating minute differences that are invisible to the human eye or classical instruments. The robot also takes into account the tension of the ligaments to be able to place a better-balanced knee replacement. The robotic arm does not perform the operation itself, but is always directed by a knee surgeon.

During the operation, the surgeon uses 3D navigation to make several identifying marks, which the computer records and compiles with the pre-operative imaging (RX or NMR images). For example, the knee surgeon receives real-time feedback on the patient's anatomy during the surgery.

Measuring is key

The Orthopaedics Department has been recording patients' pre- and postoperative data for a long time. In future, these will be linked to the data that the robot captures during the operation. The aim is to gain better clinical insights and to continuously improve care.