High precision knee replacement surgery with a robot’s assistance

High precision knee replacement surgery with a robot’s assistance 

Wednesday, November 2 2022

Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Pieter Botha who practises at Netcare Pinehaven Hospital recently achieved a milestone when he completed his 100th robotic assisted knee replacement. In total, 156 robotic assisted knee replacements with the state of the art ROSA surgical system have been done to date by accredited orthopaedic surgeons practising at the hospital. The hospital is the first in Africa to have completed this number of knee replacements with the aid of ROSA technology.

Dr Botha explains that the surgeon is in complete control at all times while using the robotic system. The system acts as an assistant, providing objective data about the patient’s unique anatomy to help inform the surgeon’s decision making during the operation.

“The technology allows greater precision in matching the natural balance of the patient’s knee, helping to restore each patient’s own unique alignment between the knee, hips and ankles, which is essential to their comfort and mobility.”

“The experience that Dr Botha and his team have already gained in this advanced knee replacement surgery option is an asset to our patients, and a growing number of ROSA robotic assisted procedures have been performed at the hospital by fellow orthopaedic surgeons Dr Attie Cloete and Dr Graeme Davis,” adds Constance Majeke, general manager of Netcare Pinehaven Hospital, which was the second hospital in South Africa to introduce ROSA technology and one of six Netcare hospitals offering either ROSA or Mako robotic assisted knee replacement surgery.


3D precision alignment
“A joint is a dynamic mechanical system, and when performing a knee replacement very careful alignment is required to enable the range of movement as well as balance of the knee. Even the most experienced surgeons will very occasionally see small deviations from the intended alignment, and the robotic assisted ROSA system’s software helps to reduce this margin even further,” he explains.

Another advantage of the system is that the patient does not require an MRI scan or other preoperative imaging. Using the system’s stylus, the surgeon maps the anatomical landmarks of the knee and this data, including the movements of the hip and ankle, assists the surgeon in planning and performing a personalised procedure for each individual.

“Correct alignment and balance can improve recovery times and internationally is associated with improved patient reported outcome measurements [PROM]. After a knee replacement, physiotherapy and occupational therapy are important for optimising the outcomes of surgery.”

From making an informed decision about the procedure and preparing for the operation, through to post-operative therapy, information sharing and outcomes measurement to track progress and recovery, the team strive to provide the best possible experience and clinical outcome for each patient.


“This ongoing programme is accumulating local anonymised clinical data and contributing to the ever expanding body of international research to support and improve outcomes for knee replacement patients worldwide, including those who undergo surgery with robotic assisted technology,” Dr Botha adds.

“We thank Dr Botha, Dr Cloete and Dr Davis for completing the rigorous training required to achieve accreditation to offer robotic assisted surgery at Netcare Pinehaven Hospital. This increases the options available for patients in the West Rand and from further afield requiring knee replacements,” Majeke concluded.


Notes to editor

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Issued by:     MNA on behalf of Netcare Pinehaven Hospital
For media enquiries contact: Martina Nicholson, Meggan Saville, Estene Lotriet-Vorster or Clementine Forsthofer
Telephone:      (011) 469 3016
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