New Cutting-Edge Robot Technology for Mater Redland Patients

A 79-year-old Redlands woman who suffered debilitating knee pain for 15 years is back on her feet after undergoing life-changing robotic knee replacement surgery at Mater Private Hospital Redlands.

Wellington Point’s Shirley Teua was the first person to have a knee replaced using the hospital’s new ROSA Robot (Robotic Surgical Assistant).

For the past 15 years Ms Teua endured severe knee pain after tearing her meniscus (a piece of cartilage in her knee), which left her in constant discomfort and unable to stand.

Mater Private Hospital Redland Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr David Ramsay performed the surgery and said the hospital was the first in the area to offer the cutting-edge robotic technology.

He said the robot helped surgeons plan and perform personalised and highly precise cuts to bone, ensuring implants can be better fitted according to a patient’s individual anatomy.

Dr Ramsay said the technique achieved faster recovery times, less pain and a more ‘natural’ feel in the knee join – with patients typically back on their feet within days.

“The robot is an assistive technology for patients, usually in their 50s to 70s, requiring knee replacement surgery,” Dr Ramsay said.

“The surgeon still does the procedure, but it allows us to do much more controlled and subtle balancing of the ligaments and tendons around the knee during the surgery than what the previous system could do.

“Using the robot helps make the new replacement feel more like a natural knee. This robot can also give us information about what the soft tissue is doing.”

Ms Teua said since her surgery in May, she had recovered well and was now able to drive her car, use her sewing machine and walk around the supermarket unaided.

“Life before the operation was hard,” Ms Teua said.

“My right knee developed arthritis, it was bone on bone, which led to getting the knee replacement.

“It would take me about three minutes to stand up, it was horrible. This surgery has been life-changing and I am in absolutely no more pain.

“My recovery was so good that I was up walking a day after surgery – I wasn’t expecting that at all.”

ROSA is a robotic surgical assistance tool developed by US-based manufacturer Zimmer Biomet, which provides surgeons with enhanced precision before, during and after knee replacement procedures.

Dr Ramsay said it was exciting to have the new technology at Mater Private Hospital Redland.

“The fact that patients don’t have to travel outside of the Redlands to have this procedure done is exciting,” he said.

“With ROSA’s assistance, surgeons can more accurately plan pathways for patients who present with unusual cases and those with higher risk or more difficult surgeries.

Dr Ramsay said the benefits for Mater patients had been evident, from preoperative care and planning through to surgery, rehabilitation and follow-ups.

The ROSA robot is also used at Mater Private Hospital Springfield, Mater Private Hospital South Brisbane and Mater Private Hospital Townsville.

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