Joint replacement takes a step into the future with new computer-assisted option for surgery

CONTRIBUTED CONTENT —When facing the decision to undergo a total knee-replacement operation, terms like “precision,” “accuracy” and “less invasive” make all the difference.

At Coral Desert Orthopaedics, total joint replacement has taken a step into the future with their latest state-of-the art technology: the OMNIBotics advanced robotics-assisted surgery system. With this breakthrough in treatment options, surgeons are able to perform minimally-invasive procedures with more precision and accuracy than ever before.

Board-certified orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Todd Parry, whose office was the first to use the innovative OMNIBotics system in Southern Utah, told St. George News the procedure is designed to relieve pain caused by joint degeneration commonly associated with growing older.

“The addition of this new robotics system makes surgery more accurate and gives you a balanced knee more reliably than using conventional instrumentation,” Parry said. “This is the first one to really allow us to measure tension through the full range of motion and then incorporate it into our surgical plan, giving the patient something that is customized to their ligaments.”

The OMNIBotics system uses advanced software and a series of diagnostic sensors to collect information and create a treatment plan personalized to each patient’s unique anatomy, perfectly refining the position and fit of implants. Its patented bone-morphing technology allows the surgeon to outline the entire surgery before a single incision is made, eliminating the need for expensive preoperative imaging.

Stock image, St. George News.

Parry said he has tried other navigation systems in the past but stopped using them after only a few cases because he found that, although the technology was interesting, it wasn’t more accurate or helpful in achieving better results than he could on his own. However, as soon as he witnessed firsthand what the OMNIBotic system could do, he knew it was something special. Over 80 surgeries later, he said he has seen a noticeable difference in his patients’ stability and recovery.

Similar to other systems, once the knee is opened in surgery, Parry uses an “electric pencil” in combination with sensors placed on the tibia and femur to essentially teach the computer the patient’s full leg alignment — where the knee is in relation to the hip and ankle. However, OMNIBotics is the first system that incorporates pneumatically inflated sensor paddles to reliably measure and record information on the tightness of a patient’s ligaments, allowing surgeons to incorporate that soft-tissue data into balancing. 

“You can measure that tension from the knee being totally straight all the way to bending that back,” Parry explained, “and then you can take that information and ask, ‘How do I factor in to give the patient a balanced knee knowing the ligaments are this tight on the inside, this tight on the outside?’ I think it’s really unique and makes a difference.”

Parry told St. George News that he explains surgery to patients in terms of baseball, saying that when surgeons use conventional instruments, “you’re mostly hitting triples and home runs, but occasionally you’re hitting that double.”

“With this system, I think it helps eliminate those doubles,” he said. “The results we’re getting are a lot more triples and home runs, more consistently.”

With conventional instruments, most surgeons in St. George do an excellent job, he said, but with this new technology, it is all about improving patient satisfaction. Most recent studies show that only 75% of people are satisfied with traditional knee-replacement surgery, but with OMNIBotics, the rate climbs to 90%. Recovery time is also reduced.

“I think we’re really going to see the move to outpatient surgeries, as this makes it a little bit quicker,” he said, adding that people are realizing they don’t need to be in expensive hospitals for the average healthy patient to have a knee replacement. Additionally, the director of Medicare recently announced that beginning in January, Medicare patients can have total knee replacements done in outpatient facilities. People no longer have to stay in a hospital for their procedure.

“This will be just one thing that makes that transition a little bit easier.”

Over 1,000,000 joint replacement surgeries are performed every year in the U.S, but despite amazing advancements such as OMNIBotics, Parry tells patients they want surgery to be the final option.

“If you can get adequate pain relief with just anti-inflammatories or simple injections, whether that be steroids or viscosupplementation lubricants or stem cell, you try those things first,” he said.

However, when a patient says those are no longer working and they are unable to do the things in life they want – like playing with their grandkids or going for longer walks with their spouse – that’s when it’s the right time for a knee replacement.

Parry said his role is to educate patients on their condition first – what their options are and make sure they understand what they can do to help themselves conservatively. Whether it’s a tendon overuse problem, early arthritis or tendonitis, he wants to help them make an educated decision about what’s right for them. 

It is just wonderful to see people get back to doing what they want to do — to have a life change where now they can be active again, get out and walk and hike. It’s something that is an immediate change, so it’s wonderful to see a problem, put my hands on it and repair something that makes a big difference in somebody’s life.” 

If you or a family member have been considering a knee replacement, visit Dr. Parry’s website for more information, or schedule a consultation today at Coral Desert Orthopaedics at 435-628-9393.

Written by ANDREW PINCKNEY, St. George News.

• S P O N S O R E D   C O N T E N T •

Resources

  • Coral Desert Orthopaedics | Address: 1490 E. Foremaster Drive, Suite 150, St. George | Telephone: 435-628-9393 | Website.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews 

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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