Robotics and Joint Surgeries
Artificial intelligence has permeated into every part of our life. Its no longer necessary to remember the landmarks on your route as google maps may offer a less congested route to your destination.
Medical Robots have been demonized more for their lack of emotions and compassion but there is no denying the fact that they also minimize the human error. The precision work which they can do repeatedly remains unmatched. So, the question here is, “Are they required for every joint surgery”?
Answer is yes and no. Nature is full of diversity in shape, form and function. Even twins may have different appearances and emotional intelligence. We don’t have a fixed heart rate or respiratory rate, rather a range is given for normal vital functions. By the same logic, it is not mandatory to have an exact replication of angles and cuts in joint surgeries. Robot performed surgeries have better radiological readings but functional outcome assessment has not translated into superior function. Human body does well to adjust itself to few degrees of errors in joint replacement surgeries.
Moreover, cost factor also fails to justify the use of robots in every surgery. Broadly, we feel that robots should be used judiciously in certain situations like cancer surgeries where complete removal of tumor is essential. In some non-cancer surgeries, about 10% of cases, where conventional instrumentation can’t be used due to preexisting deformities or deficits.
None of us had visualized widespread use of computers 25 years back. Maybe in the future, with mass production of robots, they will become more accessible, affordability and availability wise with wider use in surgeries.