Robotic knee replacement surgery: How does it work, and what are the benefits?

Robotic-assisted knee replacement surgery is one of the new patient-specific, computerised surgical techniques. Using computed tomography (CT) scans, a virtual model of a patient’s knee is built, and robotic technology offers a new level of accuracy for implant positioning.

In this blog, we explain how this innovative surgical treatment works, and discuss its benefits.

What is robotic knee replacement?

For a knee replacement, the knee’s arthritic portion is removed and covered with metal and plastic parts which comprise the new surfaces of the joint. A robotic total knee replacement benefits from the CT scans, which allow a more accurate virtual model of the patient’s knee to be built. This model acts as a guide when the surgeon comes to embed the new knee components during the procedure.

One of the leading forms of robotic knee replacement surgery is Mako assisted surgery, using the Mako robotic-arm assisted surgery system for the accurate alignment of implants. As with any type of robotic knee replacement surgery, it is important to note that the procedure itself is not performed by a robot! The procedure will be conducted by the surgeon themselves, and the robotic technology is used to pre-plan the surgery and assist with the procedure; removing the diseased cartilage and bone, before inserting the knee replacement. This personalised surgical experience presents a number of advantages, which we will move onto later in this blog.

Who is suitable for robotic knee replacement surgery?

An orthopaedic surgeon determines suitability for the robotic knee replacement procedure on a patient by patient basis.

As a general rule – if you are suitable for a total or partial knee joint replacement, then you are suitable for robotic knee replacement surgery. Despite what you may have heard or read, robotic technology is not restricted to certain types of patient.

What are the benefits of robotic knee replacement surgery?

Below are some of the key advantages of robotic knee replacement surgery:

Accurate implant positioning

With robotic knee replacement surgery, you can expect a higher level of precision. This means that a knee replacement can be customised to the individual anatomy of the patient. The patient can feel more ‘natural’ when their replacement has been fitted, and be less conscious of the replacement in their day to day life.

Superior safety

Because of the extra accuracy afforded by robotic knee replacement surgery, it is understood there is less risk of adjacent tissues being injured. It should be noted that the same risks as standard knee replacement surgery still apply, but because of the smaller incision which is required for robotic surgery, doctors believe that risks such as deep vein thrombosis, infection and nerve damage can be reduced.

Quicker recovery

Another advantage of the smaller incisions which are needed by robotic knee replacement surgery is the faster recovery. This type of procedure generally causes less pain and discomfort and requires a shorter hospitalisation time. A clinical study showed how those who underwent a robotic-assisted procedure felt less pain in the 90 day recovery period. After a robotic-assisted procedure, you should be able to; walk sooner, return to daily activities sooner, and drive a car within the first few weeks after surgery.

Better function

Both immediately after the procedure, and in the long term, patients can benefit from better function after robotic knee replacement surgery.

Call us today

The KneeDoc’s Professor Jari is currently undertaking Mako-assisted robotic arm knee replacement surgery. You can download our Patient Guide on the procedure here (, or for more information, call the KneeDoc’s team today on 0161 445 4988.