Orthopedic group augments outpatient TJR with robotics, spinal anesthesia — 3 insights

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The Bone and Joint Institute of Tennessee is leveraging robotics and innovative anesthesia techniques to improve its outpatient total joint replacement program, according to the Williamson Source.

Three insights on outpatient total joint replacement at the Bone and Joint Institute of Tennessee:

1. Robotics are used to augment the work of surgeons such as Paul Thomas, MD, who has specialized in hip and knee replacement surgery and sports medicine at the Franklin-based Bone and Joint Institute of Tennessee for nearly three decades.

"It used to be that patients would ask me what kind of knee I'm going to put in," Dr. Thomas said. "But now, we put in the exact same knee the patient had before because the robot allows us to make very precise cuts so the artificial joint we put in fits perfectly over their bone. More than that, not only does the robot make more accurate bone cuts, but it also helps us calculate for less ligament and soft-tissue damage. As a result, we decrease operative time, pain and swelling."

2. The Bone and Joint Institute of Tennessee's ASC is serviced by Franklin-based Specialty Anesthesia of Tennessee Chief Anesthesiologist Katherine Dobie, MD, who uses spinal anesthesia as opposed to general anesthesia to accelerate patient recovery.

According to Dr. Thomas, this strategy "is important because with general anesthesia, you're more likely to be nauseated and have a change in your mental status when you wake up. Eliminating those issues with spinal anesthesia helps patients return home sooner."

3. The average hip and knee replacement patient at the Bone and Joint Institute spends 90 minutes in the recovery room. This timeline is "excellent," Dr. Thomas said, "because numerous studies have shown that the sooner you get up and get going after joint replacement, the better the outcome."

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