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Ask the Doc: What You Need to Know About ROSA Knee Surgery

Published January 2022 | In Winter 2021

No two bodies are exactly the same and getting a precise knee implant — that fits the patient’s anatomy — is crucial to comfort, motion and overall experience following knee replacement surgery. Kipp Gould, D.O. and Daniel Lochmann, M.D. explain how the ROSA Knee system can help a surgeon during total knee replacement.

Ask the Doc: What You Need to Know About ROSA Knee Surgery Media

What is ROSA?

Kipp Gould, D.O.: 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 our total joint replacement program, and we  were the first in the area to utilize this type of robotic joint replacement system.

Daniel Lochmann, M.D.: 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.

How does using robotic technology like ROSA in surgery increase patient outcomes?

GOULD: 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. This is huge. Because the incision isn’t open as long, it decreases the chance of complications.

LOCHMANN: 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.

How is ROSA different from a traditional knee replacement?

GOULD: 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.

LOCHMANN: ROSA Knee uses data collected before and during surgery to inform your surgeon of many 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.

Kipp Gould, D.O., is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who is an expert at diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal disorders of the hips, shoulders and knees. Dr. Gould started the same-day total joint program in November 2016.

Who is a candidate for a ROSA total knee replacement?

GOULD: Anyone who comes in for a total knee replacement  is a candidate for ROSA.

LOCHMANN: And depending on their age, level of activity and overall health, some patients will have even better outcomes by having a total knee with ROSA.

What do you want patients to know about robotic technology when considering surgery? 

GOULD: It gives them a more normal feeling knee post-surgery, and allows patients to return to daily living more quickly with  less acute pain after the operation. It allows us to reproduce or  restore their natural motion in a more predictable manner than  a traditional knee replacement.

LOCHMANN: I want them to know that while we call it “robotic surgery,” the surgeon is the one actually controlling and performing the surgery.

What does recovery from a  knee replacement look like? Does ROSA help reduce the average patient’s healing time?

GOULD: Recovery time is  quicker than with a traditional knee replacement since we do  less soft tissue manipulation during surgery.

LOCHMANN: 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.

Daniel Lochmann, M.D., is a Navy veteran and orthopedic surgeon with over 20 years of experience in general orthopedics. He has experience in sports medicine and traumatology and has special training in hyperbaric and diving medicine.

What are the most common complications you see after surgery, and is there anything patients can do to avoid them?

GOULD: It’s important for patients to remember to take their medications as prescribed by their physician. Otherwise, they start feeling more discomfort and become afraid to move due to the pain. Many patients wait too long to come in to have a total joint replacement, which can also complicate their recovery  
based on the amount of damage  to the existing joint.

LOCHMANN: Overuse. 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.

What excites you about  using a system like ROSA?

LOCHMANN: Using ROSA has been helpful in surgical planning that is specific to the individual patient. There have been fewer complications and returns to the operating room and patients are happy knowing that the surgeon is still performing the procedure, they’re just assisted by ROSA.

GOULD: Simply put, the most exciting thing about ROSA is positive patient outcomes. 

To learn more about ROSA and knee surgery options at Monument Health, visit us at monument.health/rosa.