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10 Things to know about ROSA Robotic Knee Surgery

By Kipp Gould, D.O., who is an orthopedic surgeon at Monument Health Orthopedics and Sports Medicine clinic in Spearfish.

What is ROSA?
ROSA is the premium robotic surgical assistant used to assist during a total knee replacement surgery. Monument Health Orthopedics worked very hard to add the ROSA Knee system to the total joint replacement program, and we were the first in the area to utilize this type of robotic joint replacement system.

Does ROSA perform the surgery?
ROSA is used to help guide and calibrate the cuts that an orthopedic surgeon makes during a total knee replacement surgery. The surgeon is still the one performing the procedure, but ROSA is an incredible tool to have at our disposal.

What are some advantages to using ROSA?
Because of this technology, we can complete the surgery in less time, which in turn means the patient spends less time on the operating table. Also, the incision isn’t open as long, decreasing the chance of complications.

Who does ROSA help most?
Using ROSA makes many aspects of the surgery more precise. It has been a win-win for everyone — it’s great for the surgeon and the patients. The number of positive patient outcomes we’ve had speaks to the success of using ROSA; less pain and a quick return to daily activities are just a few.

What can I expect from my surgery?
The actual surgery itself is similar to a traditional knee replacement. The surgeon is still performing the surgery, ROSA only assists. During the surgery, the surgeon moves the robotic arm based on the preoperative plan created by the surgeon to ensure the implants’ accuracy. ROSA is an incredibly helpful tool because it helps to align the implant for exact fit and accuracy, but the skills of the surgeon are necessary for a successful procedure.

How does ROSA assist my surgeon?
ROSA Knee uses data collected before and during surgery to inform your surgeon of details related to your unique anatomy that may affect your implant fit. By using this data to make more informed decisions, your surgeon is able to plan for and carry out a personalized surgery based upon your individual needs. ROSA functions as a high-tech GPS, using trackers and a camera to determine the knee’s positioning. ROSA will make adjustments to even the slightest movements of the knee. This ability ensures the surgical plan is accomplished. The surgeon uses real-time data to enhance their skills throughout the procedure to ensure accuracy.

Who is a candidate for ROSA surgery?
Anyone who comes in for a total knee replacement is a candidate for ROSA. Depending on the age of the patient, level of activity and overall health, some patients will have even better outcomes by having a total knee replacement with ROSA.

How long will I need to recover?
Recovery time is quicker with ROSA rather than with a traditional knee replacement, since there is less soft tissue manipulation during surgery.

Is ROSA less invasive than traditional knee surgery?
ROSA offers a minimally invasive approach. This means a smaller incision with reduced scarring and minimal bleeding, reduced injury to nearby tissues, precise implant placement and increased longevity of the implant. All of that leads to a faster return to daily living and activities.

Is there anything else I should know?
Overuse can be an issue post-surgery. Some patients respond differently to different pain medications used during surgery. On occasion people feel really good after surgery and feel like it’s a quick fix. Surgery is not a quick fix. Recovery time is important. Listen to your physician and care team, they want the best outcome for you as well.

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