Jackson South Medical Center Uses the Latest Robotic Technology in Knee Replacement Procedures

Jackson South Medical Center is equipped with a new, robotic surgical system that aids in making knee replacement surgery more precise and accurate.

The system provides live, 3-D models that help surgeons plan and perform knee replacement procedures with more precision because it allows them to personalize everything – from the size of the implant components, their fit, and the mobility of a new joint.

Jackson South is the only facility in Miami-Dade and Broward counties with a CORI Surgical System for knee replacement procedures. So far, the Jackson team has performed more than 100 knee replacements using this new technology.

We caught up with Jaime Alberto Carvajal Alba, MD, a UHealth – University of Miami Health System orthopedic surgeon who specializes in this type of robotic surgery at Jackson South. Dr. Carvajal explains how this technology works, who can benefit from this type of procedure, and what patients can expect after knee replacement surgery.

Tell us about the new robotic surgical system and how it works for knee replacement surgery.

The CORI Surgical System is a handheld, semi-automated robotic system. It creates a 3D model live during surgery of the patient’s knee anatomy and allows us to assess the person’s range of motion, stability and better understand how their knee behaves. This provides all the information we need to know to restore the person’s own anatomy and assure a knee replacement is placed in an optimal position.

With this particular technology, we see a live 3D model of the patient’s knee during the surgery, so patients do not need to go for CT scans and other imaging before the procedure, as is sometimes required with other systems.

The live, 3D model also helps us set up the surgical plan and adjust it as needed, and then perform the procedure in a very precise manner. It helps me adjust the size of the components, adjust the tension of the ligaments and, at the end of the procedure, ensure the knee is working as it should. The surgery typically takes about one hour.

When someone has knee pain, what is the process for undergoing a knee replacement?

When a patient comes to us with knee pain, we first assess their symptoms and see what conservative measures they’ve tried first. We always recommend conservative management first, such as physical therapy, oral medications, and sometimes injections to see if we can decrease inflammation and pain.

If these measures do not help or aren’t enough to get the patient back to an adequate quality of life, then we offer surgery. Surgery is an option for almost anyone, as long as they don’t have other serious medical conditions that could make the procedure a risk for them.

Who is a candidate for knee surgery using this new handheld robotic system?

This system works for anyone in need of a knee replacement. Using a robotic system increases the accuracy of implant placement, which leads to optimal outcomes.

What’s the recovery processes like after knee replacement surgery?

At Jackson, we’ve been pioneers of a rapid recovery protocol that gets patients back on their feet and back to living their life as soon as possible.

Two hours after the surgery, we help patients out of bed and back on their feet. A physical therapist will come by with a walker to help them begin putting pressure on the leg.

Our patients go home the same day as surgery, which is nice because people enjoy being back in their homes and recovering in their own bed. We send them home with oral medications to control blood clotting and to manage any pain. In most cases, pain usually diminishes within a few days when the inflammation goes down.

Patients have their first physical therapy session the day after surgery. Our goal is to take the walker away about one-and-a-half to two weeks after surgery. Then, they will use a cane for another week or two, as needed.

Most of our patients generally return to their full activity about four weeks after surgery.

Is there anything else a patient should know before considering a knee replacement surgery?

I highly recommend people seek out a team – with a surgeon and surgical support team – that specializes in knee replacement procedures. At Jackson South, we are a high-volume facility performing hundreds of these procedures each year with an entire surgical team dedicated to this type of surgery. This means we have perfected our procedures down to the tiniest details, ensuring the best experience and outcome for our patients.

For more information or to make an appointment at Jackson Health System for robotic knee replacement surgery, call 305-256-4334.