Robotics for prosthetics: San Carlo di Nancy hospital among the top three European hospitals for three-year case studies

Robots in the operating room are now a reality. But in this sector “machines” are not designed to replace man. Technological systems only serve to support the surgeon for minimally invasive, increasingly precise and conservative operations. The goal is less surgical trauma, greater precision during implantation and faster recovery.

As in the case of the Navio robotic system, used at the San Carlo di Nancy hospital in Rome since 2019. In the three-year period 2019-2022, almost 500 operations were performed with the Navio robot, placing the Roman hospital among the top 3 hospitals in Europe for three-year series of robotic knee implants and first place in Italy for the number of robot-assisted UKA procedures (Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty – unicompartmental knee prosthesis).

With a daily average of 8 operations, the San Carlo di Nancy hospital is reconfirmed in the top 3 of the Lazio regional report for the number of knee prostheses (source: P.Re.Val.E. Lazio 2022).

“I am particularly proud of the goals achieved in these first 3 years of using the robotic technique associated with knee replacement surgery. This experience has improved our approach to this surgery forcing us to raise our technical level. I believe that the use of the robot is already today a consolidated reality which cannot be ignored in the future to ensure ever better results for our patients. Our center has the ambitious goal of becoming a point of reference for all colleagues who wish to approach this type of technology. The experience gained in these three years has also convinced me to expand the use of robotic surgery which I will soon begin to use also for hip replacement surgery thanks to the continuous development of new increasingly performing robotic systems” comments Prof. Mario Tartarone, Head of the Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology and Head of the Prosthetic Surgery Unit of the San Carlo di Nancy Hospital.

The Navio robot does not replace the surgeon but supports his expertise, allowing for accurate planning of the intervention, customized on the anatomy and specific movement of the patient’s joint. Sensors that reconstruct a 3D image of the articular surfaces allow you to define the exact positioning and precise measurement of the prosthetic components but above all they allow you to restore an accurate ligament balance of the knee. In the operating room then, during the operation, the computer-assisted “robotic handpiece” guides the surgeon’s performance. Patients who are candidates for knee replacement surgery are both elderly, due to joint degeneration, and young, often due to sports or road injuries.

Another novelty that sees the San Carlo di Nancy hospital alongside centers of excellence from all over the world is the monitoring program for the long-term follow-up of robotic prosthetic surgery. In fact, the Roman hospital is part, together with other healthcare facilities in Italy, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Spain, South Africa, the Netherlands and Belgium, of the Robotics Registry, a project that will be launched in the first quarter of 2023 and aims to lay the foundations for new standards of care in the field of robotics in the operating room.

It is a monitoring with the active participation of the patient, who will be able to provide data on his pre- and post-operative path via an app installed on his smartphone. On the other hand, the medical team can also analyze the data received to monitor the therapeutic pathways of both the individual patient and, on a large scale, of all the patients involved in the project at the EMEA level (Europe, Middle East and Africa), which will also be useful for the future creation of scientific publications.

The project demonstrates the efficiency of robotic technology in total and unicompartmental prosthetic procedures. The goal is to improve the standard of care offered to patients and to optimize the therapeutic pathways proposed by the clinics through the analysis of data collected on the Robotics Registry platform, which can be consulted by Healthcare and Administrative Staff of the healthcare facilities involved in the project.

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