UW Valley Medical Center (UWVMC) received the first commercially available Velys Robot for Total Knee Replacement (TKR) surgery. The Velys robot was developed by DePuySynthes for robotically assisted TKR.
While robot assisted TKR has been around for several years the Velys system offers several advantages: (1) it requires no preoperative advanced imaging such as a CT scan or MRI which saves the patient money, (2) it is portable so it can be moved from room to room (which is important for high volume joint centers like UWVMC), (3) it allows the surgeon to develop a plan based on each individual patient's anatomy and soft tissue tension and (4) the robot executes the plan with more precision than even a very experienced joint replacement specialist.
This concept of patient-specific alignment has been evolving over the last few years and makes sense. We are not all born with the exact same leg alignment, some of us have a neutral or straight leg alignment, some are bow legged and others knock knee. So, it doesn't make sense to make us all look the same after TKR. The predominant alignment theory over the last 40 years was to make all patients have a "straight" leg. That concept often required release of some tight tissues on one side of the replaced knee. With patient-specific alignment the patients natural soft tissue tension guides placement of the implants and very little tissue needs to be released. This philosophy will lead to a more stable feeling knee replacement.
Content Warning: Surgical procedure containing footage from OR team below.
In addition to the new Velys robot, we have been using the Attune Knee implant system manufactured by DePuySynthes for our knee replacement patients. I had the honor of being one of the designers of this system, which was released in 2013. I have implanted this knee in thousands of patients; my results (and those documented in joint registries around the world) have be extremely good. I am confident that the stability and motion that the Attune knee provides patients and the planning and accuracy that the Velys robot provides will lead to better outcomes for our patients.
We are excited to provide this cutting edge technology to our joint replacement patients at UWVMC!