02/12/2021 | Press releases

Providing cutting-edge care for knee replacement patients

East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) has become one of the only sites in the country to begin using the very latest robotic technology to plan and carry out knee replacement surgery.

The handheld robotic device, called CORI, uses computer software to map out the knee joint outline as well as the alignment of the leg. Surgeons can then plan a procedure before touching the joint surface.

Colchester Hospital is one of just three sites in the UK to introduce the technology. Its introduction is the latest progressive step from the unit, which has up to this point been using a previous iteration of the device called a NAVIO.

CORI is much smaller and sleeker than its predecessor, can be set up more quickly and allows surgeons to carry out the procedure faster. It has been introduced in addition to the NAVIO, which means that ESNEFT now has two robotic-assisted devices which can both be used at the same time.

Consultants Tim Parratt and Mabs Alam have been spearheading the work. Mr Parratt said: “We are delighted that ESNEFT has become one of just a handful of trusts from across the country to begin using this fantastic equipment to benefit our patients. It’s a real vindication of what we are trying to achieve.

“Conventional knee replacements tend to suit the patient to the operation. With this equipment, we are suiting the operation to the patient as it allows us to measure, plan and perform surgery which is personalised to their individual anatomy.

“The technology offers us much greater accuracy than is possible with the human eye alone, in turn leading to better outcomes for our patients. It allows us to perform complex total and partial knee replacements with precision.

“The investment that the Trust has made in this equipment underlines our commitment to innovation and ambition to place ESNEFT at the very forefront of orthopaedic care in the UK. We are now looking at introducing similar systems for hip replacement surgery so that even more of our patients can benefit from the very latest cutting-edge technology.”

Both the CORI and NAVIO systems allow surgeons to use computer software to accurately understand the patient’s limb alignment and calculate the exact size and orientation of the implant needed before the main part of the operation begins. A simulation can also be performed which shows the surgeon how the virtual knee replacement will perform throughout its range of motion.

The surgeon can then use the handheld device, known as a handheld robotic burr, to remove exactly the right amount of cartilage and bone to prepare an implant which is planned to that patient.

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