Research and Technology

03.12.19

NHS Scotland’s first orthopaedic robot introduced

A new robot has been introduced at the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank to assist surgeons with knee replacement surgery.

Over 25% of all Scottish hip and knee replacements take place at the hospital, and the ‘Mako’ robot is expected to benefit around 300 patients in the first year alone.

The robot completed it’s first procedure this week, as Caroline Ramsay underwent her fourth joint replacement, a routine surgery carried out successfully.

The patients at NHS Golden Jubilee will benefit from greater implant accuracy and reduced soft tissue and blood loss thanks to the new technology. It also results in less pain, less time in hospital and will see the patient resume normal activity sooner.

The robot is able to build a virtual 3D model of the individual patient’s anatomy from a CT scan, allowing the surgeon to position each component to work best for each person. It can then make precise bone cuts according to the surgical plan, minimising soft tissues damage and conserving as much bone as possible.

Nick Ohly is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at NHS Golden Jubilee and the first to treat patients using the Mako robot. He commented:

“It is extremely exciting to be the first NHS hospital in Scotland to be able to offer robotic arm assisted partial and total knee replacements to NHS patients as part of routine care.

“The Mako robot is unique in orthopaedics in allowing the surgeon to implant every joint replacement in the optimal position for each individual patient based on their specific anatomy, while minimising bone resection and soft tissue injury. This allows for reduced pain after surgery, optimised function and quicker recovery.”

The robot currently focuses on knee replacements but the plan is to introduce the technology into hip replacement procedures in the near future.

This is the second surgical robot used by the NHS Golden Jubilee, as the UK’s first dedicated thoracic robot was introduced in 2018.

Mark MacGregor, NHS Golden Jubilee’s medical director, added:

“There is already some evidence that the longer-term outcomes may be superior with robotic-arm assisted surgery.

“The introduction of robotics, the scale of the Golden Jubilee orthopaedic service, combined with the expertise in clinical research means that NHS Golden Jubilee should be well placed to lead on future research in this emerging new field of robotic arthroplasty – benefitting patients across Scotland and beyond.”

Photo: Caroline Ramsay NHS Golden Jubilee

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