DOCTORS perform the first of its kind in Africa knee replacement operation using the state-of-the-art Mako robotic arm-assisted surgery system at Linksfield Hospital.
Pretoria - In A first for the African continent, a full knee replacement operation has been carried out using a state-of-the-art robotic arm.

The surgery was performed at Netcare's Linksfield Hospital in Joburg.

“There is no national register for knee replacements currently, but with an estimated 8000 to 10000 knee replacements taking place in South Africa each year, this technology could signal a new era in joint replacement,” said surgeon Dr Chris McCready, who performed the operation.

Last year the Mako robotic arm was used in over 250000 procedures internationally, and it can also be used for hip replacements.

One of the major advantages of the robotic-assisted system is that it draws data from a computed tomography scan of the knee prior to surgery.

This data is then used to develop a three-dimensional pre-operative plan unique to each individual.

“This technology determines the dimensions for the surgical cuts to the bone surfaces, so that the best sized implanted joint components can be selected for each patient, and the placement and alignment of the implanted components can be planned in advance.

“During the operation, the robotic arm system provides detailed visual, auditory and tactile feedback to the surgeon, which helps to enhance surgical precision in positioning and aligning the knee implants,” said McCready.

The robotic arm system is controlled by the surgeon at all times.

“Benefits noted for this advanced surgical option include the achievement of a better balanced and more natural-feeling implanted knee and quicker recovery time.”

According to the managing director of Netcare’s hospital division, Jacques du Plessis, the development had the potential to significantly enhance patient outcomes. African News Agency (ANA)

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