Manual Versus Robotic Knee Replacement

Total knee replacement surgery is a common procedure for people with severe knee joint damage or arthritis. The traditional method of performing a total knee replacement involves a surgeon using manual tools to remove the damaged parts of the knee joint and replace them with an artificial implant. However, in recent years, robotic-assisted total knee replacement has emerged as a new alternative to manual surgery. In this blog post, we will compare manual total knee replacement to robotic-assisted total knee replacement.

Manual Total Knee Replacement:

Manual total knee replacement surgery is a well-established procedure that has been performed for decades. In this procedure, the surgeon uses manual tools to remove the damaged cartilage and bone from the knee joint and replace it with an artificial implant. During the procedure, the surgeon relies on their skills and experience to make the necessary cuts and adjustments. The surgeon also uses their judgment to determine the size and positioning of the implant based on the patient's anatomy.

Robotic-Assisted Total Knee Replacement:

Robotic-assisted total knee replacement is a newer technique that has gained popularity in recent years. In this procedure, a robotic arm is used to assist the surgeon in performing the surgery. The surgeon uses a computer to create a 3D model of the patient's knee joint, which is used to plan the surgery. During the surgery, the robotic arm is used to guide the surgeon's tools, allowing for greater precision and accuracy in the placement of the implant. The surgeon also has access to real-time information and feedback from the robotic arm, which can help them make more informed decisions during the surgery.


Now that we have a basic understanding of both techniques let's compare the two procedures.

Accuracy and Precision:

Robotic-assisted total knee replacement surgery is considered to be more accurate and precise than manual total knee replacement surgery. The robotic arm can make more precise cuts and adjustments, resulting in a better fit and alignment of the implant. This can lead to improved outcomes and a faster recovery time.


Robotic-assisted total knee replacement surgery is typically more expensive than manual total knee replacement surgery. The cost of the robotic arm and associated technology can be a significant barrier for some patients and healthcare providers.


In conclusion, both manual total knee replacement surgery and robotic-assisted total knee replacement surgery are effective techniques for treating knee joint damage or arthritis. Robotic-assisted surgery offers greater precision and accuracy. Ultimately, the decision to undergo manual or robotic-assisted surgery should be based on the individual patient's needs and preferences, as well as the advice of their healthcare provider.

William Ashford, MD

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