Montefiore launches robotic orthopedic surgery program for knee replacement

In January, Montefiore Health System launched its new Robotic Joint Replacement Program.
Courtesy of Montefiore

Over one million total hip and knee replacement procedures are performed each year in the United States and now a Bronx hospital is using a robot to help make the process easier.

In January, Montefiore Health System launched its new Robotic Joint Replacement Program, led by Dr. Carlos Alvarado who recently joined the Department of Orthopedic Surgery as the director of Robotic Hip and Knee Surgery.

Montefiore is one of the first programs in the area to utilize the new surgical robot called ROSA (Robotic Surgical Assistant).  The program uses technology to make a 3-D model of the patient’s bone anatomy by taking x-rays, as opposed to most robotic devices, which require CT scans. CT scans can be more costly and difficult to access, so by using x-rays, more patients may be eligible for this state of the art approach.

“This is the only robot that can build a map off of 3-D x-rays,” Alvarado explained.

Alvarado, who has been doing these types of procedures for about a decade, came to Montefiore from Miami six months ago.

The robotic arm is guided by the surgeon to help improve the precision of the surgery and reduce the need for revisions. Montefiore has one of the highest volume joint replacement programs in the area. Typically patients are able to return home the day after their surgery.

“Knee replacement surgery is very successful overall when using a robot,” he said. “I think robotic surgery will allow us to unlock that next level of improvement.”

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