GW Orthopaedic Surgeon Discusses Total Knee Replacement

February 24, 2021
Joshua Campbell, MD

Over the course of our lives, we use our knees a lot. After years of constant motion, wear-and-tear can result in a common form of arthritis called osteoarthritis, which destroys joint cartilage and bone. In cases where conservative treatment options fail to relieve pain, your provider may recommend a total knee replacement procedure.

Joshua Campbell, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon at the George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates, discusses the conditions leading to total knee replacement and the procedure he performs now with the new Robotic Surgical Assistant, or ROSA, which is designed to help surgeons tailor the placement of the knee implant to each patient’s unique anatomy.

When is a knee replacement necessary?

A knee replacement is required for patients with pain and disability related to degenerative changes of the knee joint, which can occur for a number of reasons including injury, osteoarthritis, inflammatory arthritis, or crystalline arthropathies, [a buildup of crystal deposits in the joint and surrounding soft tissue].

What types of patients usually require knee replacements?

Patients who are best served with total knee replacements are generally over 50 years of age and have had 6 months or more of disabling pain that is affecting the quality of their life.

How does the new ROSA make the procedure easier?

The use of robotic assistance with total knee replacement allows for a more precise placement of implants, and a more accurate reconstruction of the knee, resulting in better clinical outcomes for patients.

What does the procedure look like with this tool?

The procedure is similar to traditional total knee replacement, however violation of the femur with an intramedullary guide (rod in the femur) is no longer required. Instead, two small incisions are made proximal and distal to the incision where an optical array is placed, which allows the computer to sense where the knee is in space. The knee is then mapped using computer models generated from the X-rays we have taken in our office.

What does the recovery process look like?

Recovery is not dramatically different than traditional total knee replacement.

Dr. Campbell is currently accepting new patients and he is ready to see you virtually or in-person for total knee and hip replacement consultations. Don’t delay care, call the GW Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at: (202)741-3300 or email gwortho@mfa.gwu.edu to schedule an appointment.

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