Knee surgery is becoming increasingly prevalent, and though this may have presented numerous challenges in the past, these challenges are becoming easier to address through modern innovations by brands such as ROM Technologies™.
Indeed, with approximately 2.24 million hip and knee arthroplasties between 2012 and 2020, according to data from the American Joint Replacement Registry, the scale of the demand is evidently significant. However, there’s always room for improvement in the field – and, in line with this, new cutting-edge material developments and technologies are helping to enhance the recovery of patients, regardless of whether that is before, during, or following knee surgery.
Challenges Associated with Knee Surgery and Rehabilitation
Knee and joint complications have a massive impact on the lives of countless people worldwide, with women being marginally more prone to needing arthroplasties. Fortunately, the success rate of such interventions is high. Knee replacement surgeries, in particular, are among the most common forms of orthopedic procedures.
However, while these interventions are often successful, several steps must be taken to ensure good chances of a smooth healing process. Notably:
1) The necessary equipment must be available for healthcare providers.
2) Sufficient information is needed about recovery and healing processes and how to support rehabilitation.
Ensuring that both of these factors are catered to is integral. Fortunately, numerous brands have recognized the importance and value of taking steps to overcome these challenges, which has made a vital and undeniable impact on knee surgery.
How New Technologies Are Changing the Game With Knee Surgery and Rehabilitation
The medical field is no stranger to cutting-edge advances, and this is true across several key areas: namely, while diagnosing the issue, in the operating room directly, and during post-surgery rehabilitation. Each of these areas requires very different technological innovations.
Technologies Advancing Diagnostics Procedures and Processes
The first step in treating challenges and complications relating to knee health comes in the diagnostics stage. Indeed, being able to diagnose a problem early provides several integral benefits. This can help:
- reduce suffering on the patient’s behalf, thereby improving their quality of life
- identify potential issues more quickly, meaning the healthcare recipient will spend less time in the hospital
- preventative or curative actions are taking place sooner, therein supporting a better prognosis.
Due to these factors, the scientific community – alongside brands like ROMTech® – has taken steps to help make diagnosing patients simpler. But, to do this, it’s also vital that doctors and healthcare professionals accept and implement the systems.
Technologies Advancing Surgical Interventions
Knee surgery is a highly unique field in that the procedures defined within it are often highly successful. This makes such procedures much less likely to develop complications. Moreover, ensuring patients receive suitable treatment for effective healing without significant scarring is crucial for the knee surgery recipient’s absolute satisfaction.
Studies suggest that in total knee arthroplasty cases, individuals undergoing surgery exhibit a satisfaction level of only around 90.3%, compared to surgeon satisfaction rates of 94.5%. In line with this, there is room for improvement, increasing the potential application of range-of-motion (ROM) technologies such as ROMTech’s solution with the Portable Connect®.
Due to the limited satisfaction rates, any technologies offering the opportunity to boost patient satisfaction will likely be well embraced by the industry.
Minimally Invasive Surgery
The invasiveness of a surgical intervention plays a significant role in the final success rates and recovery times. In accordance with this, one of the most widespread innovations in knee surgery is minimally invasive surgery (MIS).
MIS processes utilize micro-incisions rather than a traditional approach, which can provide significant benefits in terms of joint resurfacing overall. However, although this technology is one of the most widespread, it’s also more heavily scrutinized.
Nonetheless, there’s no doubt that MIS offers significant benefits over traditional techniques. Smaller incisions mean surgical recipients undergo less blood loss and experience an enhanced recovery time. Moreover, through MIS, patients can enjoy shorter hospital stays and heal from their operation more rapidly, improving their quality of life.
Not only is a minimally invasive technique more effective in recovery and success, but it’s also highly praised in many cases for patient satisfaction. Such processes give drastically less scarring for greatly enhanced aesthetics; moreover, there’s a lower chance of readmission or infections, significantly boosting individuals undergoing the procedure.
Da Vinci Surgical Systems
Perhaps the earliest and most revolutionary form of minimally invasive robotics tools was the Da Vinci surgical system. Now in its fourth generation, this device provides increasingly precise, accurate, and flexible solutions for surgeons in many surgical applications, including supporting knee surgery and ROM (range of motion) technologies.
Smart technologies are playing a massive role in modern life, and this is equally true when it comes to joint surgery. Smart implants are just one example of such technology helping improve results and improve patient satisfaction. ROMTech offers the Persona IQ smart knee replacement device, which is FDA-approved in the case of total knee replacements.
Through smart implants, healthcare providers receive a myriad of information relating to the patient’s healing and recovery. This is monitored and interpreted by the smart sensor at the base of the Persona IQ smart knee replacement device, which assesses the resulting range of motion and movements.
This unique approach is highly valuable for the individual’s short- and long-term recovery, as it provides a passive form of data transfer that helps surgeons remotely monitor, assess, and control the recovery process. This also integrates closely with the MyMobility rehab application; thus, the tool offers a seamless solution to enhance patient engagement, healing, and recovery.
One common concern that people have regarding smart knee implants relates to the range of data collected. However, all information is gathered for the sole purpose of supporting recovery. Thus, the device does not gather any unrelated data, such as location. The primary metrics analyzed are:
- walking speed
- walking distance
- stride length
- step count
- range of motion.
A further point to note is that smart implants may also indirectly motivate patients to follow their predetermined treatment plan and rehab process. It’s not uncommon for individuals to feel unmotivated or worried about rehab exercises after knee surgery.
Additionally, the tool’s data-collecting ability can help reassure surgical recipients that they are doing the right thing; if not, their physician can contact them directly to discuss a more appropriate approach to rehab.
Robotic Surgical Assistants
A further form of a robotic system that’s used increasingly often as part of ROM technologies is the robotic surgical assistant. This usually works alongside other surgery innovations to provide superior results and enhanced recovery.
Robotic surgical assistants irrefutably help to support better surgical processes. They can enhance patient recovery during the operation, making it an inordinate tool for use alongside ROM technologies.
There are two rapidly developing forms of robotic surgical assistants, namely:
- Mako Robotic Assisted Knee Surgery: The MAKO system uses a virtual 3D-CT model to provide direct pin placement. The system’s design offers a greater range of freedom, making it more precise and accurate (potentially even in scenarios where the original surgical incision is not known precisely).
- Navio Cori Surgical Systems: Integrating computer-aided techniques into orthopedic surgery, Navio Cori systems utilize open-source hardware and software and works with a focus on soft tissue anatomy, in particular. They can also deliver precise robotic drilling, allowing for significantly greater accuracy than traditional techniques.
Robotic surgical assistants are exceptionally complex devices that can often be integrated into other forms of surgery. However, it is essential to recognize that these devices often come with prohibitive price tags, so they may be best suited to healthcare providers that deliver these surgeries regularly and will get the best value from the systems.
Although the nature of direct surgical interventions primarily influences patient satisfaction, it’s essential to recognize that many cases of dissatisfaction develop later while the patient is recovering. Problems with the functional levels of the knee post-surgery seem to be among the most significant challenges, with pain and discomfort during the healing process also posing an essential source of distress for many people.
Accordingly, post-surgical rehabilitation ROM technologies offer a vital tool to help support patient well-being, recovery, and health. Around one in five patients consider their final results to be excellent, with a further 71% of people noticing improvements but not being fully satisfied. Thus, there is clear value in improving the rehab process for recipients of knee surgery overall.
Robotics are influencing more and more aspects of daily life – including in the operating room. Thus, one of the first innovations in the field of post-surgical recovery has to be robot-assisted rehabilitation, which is providing a novel opportunity for patients during the healing process.
There are currently two primary forms of robot-assisted rehabilitation: end-effector gait robotics and exoskeletons. Each of these offers a slightly different approach, and these technologies are unique in how they can help with the recovery process. However, the latter generally has greater value for knee surgery recipients during the healing and transition stages.
It’s important to recognize here that robotic rehabilitation technologies, such as exoskeletons, are designed to help gently move the knees and hips alongside a broad ROM, making these among the most effective forms of ROM technologies on the market.
While exoskeletons represent a significant investment, they effectively support rehabilitation among patients who have undergone surgical interventions. More specifically, they can help enhance motor function alongside support from conventional rehabilitation processes, such as physical therapy.
ROMTech is a professional provider of ROM technologies, offering groundbreaking rehabilitation solutions focusing on orthopedic indications. The brand’s overarching priority remains improving patient outcomes and satisfaction rates, which helps reduce patient care costs while simultaneously delivering greater results and success rates in the end.
The brand focuses on empowering individuals receiving knee surgery and delivering an enriched quality of life overall. As a result, for patients looking to find new opportunities to recover, ROMTech could be a valuable partner to consider.
ROMTech’s primary solution is PortableConnect®, which is highly praised as a valuable tool for rehabilitation and reducing recovery times. The device can be a hugely beneficial investment for patients and clinicians alike.
How PortableConnect Can Help
With PortableConnect ROM Technologies offers the ideal solution to help with post-surgical recovery and healing, with the focus being to support a greater range of therapeutic movement and light, easy sessions. The answer is based on individual patient experiences and supports holistic repair with a reduced need for painkillers and other associated medications.
The device has four different modes, depending on the level of damage and the challenge demanded. The modes are passive, active-assisted, active, and resistance. Each provides a different level of stress on the new joint, which helps tailor the recovery process to the person receiving it.
Every PortableConnect device is tailored to the patient’s unique requirements, helping it to provide the best possible opportunities. Users typically complete up to 5 therapy sessions daily for a period of 3–5 weeks after knee surgery; this helps monitor and measure the individual’s ROM, ensuring a more interconnected recovery process overall.
During use, PortableConnect shares data directly with healthcare providers. This ensures that physicians are kept up to date with their patient’s recovery and means individuals receive a more personalized and tailored process that focuses on enhancing their well-being rather than looking solely at expected timelines and metrics.
Additionally, PortableConnect helps support greater patient satisfaction by integrating telehealth ROM Technologies, making it easier for doctors to contact people who have undergone knee surgery. Reports and information are often provided to medical professionals in real-time, giving drastically improved results.
This significantly simplifies the medical check-in process, reducing the risk of people missing appointments or failing to monitor progress (which can dramatically increase the risk of complications arising). Indeed, unchecked issues, if left, can very quickly develop into more severe problems – which is one aspect that ROMTech’s system can support.
What’s the Success Rate?
Post-operative recovery is highly individualized, so there is no easy way to accurately determine how long it will take for a person to heal fully following knee surgery. That said, ROMTech’s PortableConnect system has proven itself thus far with impressive statistics, making it an increasingly popular tool.
Based on data from ROMTech’s pilot studies, around half of the patients typically recover a ROM within 2 weeks. This figure is significantly higher than the baseline rate of just 12% of patients in normal scenarios undergoing regular rehab care and support.
In terms of the level of ROM, most patients achieve a 112 degree range of motion within the 2-week period following knee surgery with ROMTech’s PortableConnect, which is around 13 degrees higher than those in regular care scenarios following the surgery. This allows for much greater freedom of movement and helps patients return to life, as usual, more quickly.
The PortableConnect device supports faster recovery, and the tool is also reported to minimize patient pain during the healing process. Discomfort is an inevitable part of any post-surgical setting. However, around 80% of people using the system during rehab reported lower pain levels than regular care individuals. Hence, knee surgery recipients using PortableConnect may be able to lower their reliance on painkillers and enjoy greater comfort and satisfaction while healing.
Cost is one of the most significant limiting factors for many patients in terms of their recovery process. However, the ROMTech system is designed with affordability in mind. Accordingly, when following this recovery plan immediately after knee surgery, service recipients can see savings of up to $6,500. Perhaps the most significant savings come from earlier hospital discharge times, the ability to skip acute rehab sessions, and saving on doctor’s visits through a more efficient telehealth focus.
In addition to the aforementioned ROM technologies, it’s worth considering the value that apps can provide. Many people overlook the role of medical apps at this point. Nevertheless, their significance is high since they can support numerous challenges during the rehabilitation process.
Mobile applications are also highly cost-effective, making them a simple, cheap, and effective way to support healing by obtaining the necessary information to help patients work out how to support their recovery better.
Indeed, for many patients having undergone a knee replacement intervention, keeping up with the key requirements to support healing and recovery can often seem difficult. And while other ROM technologies are undeniably helpful for many people, recovery isn’t always straightforward through these alone.
The Value of Mobile Rehabilitation Applications
Recovering from knee surgery isn’t always quick. As a result, having a handy rehabilitation app directly in your pocket can offer a great deal of value for money. These apps, such as the Zimmer Biomet MyMobility app, deliver all of the critical information needed during both the preparation and the recovery processes. This makes them integral ROM technologies for many people during the rehab process.
They can ensure that patients have the necessary info beforehand to help them prepare effectively, allowing them to know what to expect before their knee surgery. This means pre-surgery preparations can be made more efficiently, enabling recipients to make the necessary adjustments and plans.
Once the knee surgery has occurred, a healthcare and rehabilitation app provides a helpful tool to support overall recovery. These apps provide critical information to help individuals monitor their healing process to ensure that any potential complications can be addressed more promptly. They also offer simple, video-guided exercise routines and plans, allowing individuals to develop their mobility alongside other ROM technologies.
As well as providing guides and information, rehabilitation apps also offer reminders to help ensure that patients don’t miss important milestones and goals. They can also deliver information directly to the surgeon or healthcare provider, making it easier for individuals to convey their symptoms and experiences to their physician or physical therapist, thus addressing any complications more accurately and efficiently.
It’s easy to overlook how much work knees do – at least until something goes wrong. In line with this, enhancing the practicality and efficiency of knee surgery and rehabilitation is a vital goal for modern healthcare, and this is a goal that brands such as ROMTech are striving to meet.
Of course, countless methods and approaches to optimizing knee surgery exist. And naturally, not all systems utilized in advanced knee surgery can necessarily be classed as ROM technologies. Nonetheless, it’s often possible for these revolutionary tech options to integrate with other forms of systems. This often provides superior results for patients while simultaneously delivering better value and enhanced quality of life.
Innovations are undoubtedly making a big difference in the lives of people affected by knee injuries. However, to increase surgical success rates further, getting a broader audience to take up these technologies may be necessary, from the perspective of both the surgeon and the recipient. Hence, continued innovations should support the goal of making these technologies more accessible, which is exactly what ROMTech is doing with its focus on delivering a more cost-effective solution.
The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.