• No more knee pain: Robot-assisted partial knee replacement offers relief


    May 29, 2018

    WHEN conservative measures to treat knee pain from osteoarthritis fail, partial knee replacement may be an option. Kevin Sullivan, of Fly Creek, underwent the pro- cedure last year and has done so well he’s planning to have the same procedure done on his other knee.

    “There were days that I didn’t want to get out of bed because it hurt so much, but you have to function,” says Sullivan. “I knew a total knee replacement was not something that I wanted to do. To avoid it, I tried ibuprofen; I had lidocaine patches that I put on my knees, especially at night, because all they would do is throb. I couldn’t sleep.”

    Sullivan and his wife attended a free seminar, where Bassett Healthcare Network’s orthopedic surgeons explained an advanced technique to treat knee pain using computer navigation and robot-assisted surgical hand tools, a combination that enables precise access to the damaged parts of the knee with small incisions.


    “We generate a virtual model of the knee, which allows us to fine-tune the sizing and position of the implants specific to the patient,” explains James Scott, DO, the surgeon who performed Sullivan’s robot-assisted 

    partial knee replacement. “At the same time, we’re getting real-time information on what we call ‘balance of the knee’ and adequate tension of the ligaments and other soft tissues within the knee that are difficult to attain without the use of the navigation system.” Dr. Scott says benefits of partial knee replacement include implant longevity and healing quickly with good long-term results. By getting a partial knee replacement, candidates may also potentially avoid the need for total knee replacement in the future.

    “Partial knee replacement is ideal in a patient who has pain in a single location in the knee—we can spare healthier cartilage in other areas of the knee,” Dr. Scott says. “We also preserve the ligaments in the center of the knee, providing a more natural-feeling knee once the surgery is complete.”

    Sullivan, who has been a nurse for 40 years and is an infection prevention specialist at Bassett Medical Center, says, “My quality of life is so much greater. My wife and I are able to plan vacations that include walking and hiking again. It has made a great impact on my life. I’m very happy.”

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