2022 A New Year, New Opportunity, and Rise of the Robot for Total Knee Replacements

We are seven weeks into a new year and finally the latest wave of COVID-19 seems to be subsiding. This optimistic news gives us hope of returning to a more normal orthopedic practice. Our ambulatory surgery center opened in December 2021 and is in full swing. We are excited about the opportunity this provides for our patients.

As of this week, Valley Medical Center returns to a normal surgery schedule allowing overnight-stay patients. We have had to postpone a number of patients who require an overnight stay in the hospital for several months. We are looking forward to helping these patients get back on their feet and enjoying life.

Several developments occurred over the last eight months. As I have previously noted, we received the first total knee robot from DePuy Synthes, the Velys Robotically Assisted Surgery System. We have done over 70 cases with the robot and have been very impressed with the results. I've had the privilege of being a designing surgeon for a new DePuy Synthes Hip System which will be available during the first quarter of 2022.

The last two years have represented a time of change and challenge, moments of fear and opportunity. COVID accelerated the move to outpatient joint replacements. This required us to improve the optimization of our patients so that a greater number of these cases could be done as outpatient procedures. Currently, approximately 70% of patients are being done as same day discharge going home with the assistance of a partner, family member or friend. This trend will continue as we improve our selection criteria, optimization, and work with patients and caregivers to make joint replacement surgery even better in the coming year.