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Robots to carry out hip and knee replacements in NHS Wales clinical trial

09 Feb 2023 3 minute read
Pictured (L-R) Senior charge nurse, Jeremy Thomas, Junior charge nurse, Anthony Macabitis, Senior sister, Lorna Amarillo, Junior sister, Charlie Ledbury, Junior charge nurse, Gary Peters and Staff Nurse, Glaiza Juanites

Surgeon guided robots will be used for the first time in Wales to perform hip and knee replacements.

Researchers will begin the clinical trial using state-of-the-art robots this month at the Hywel Dda University Health Board thanks to funding from the National Institute for Health and Care Research.

Joint replacement surgery is one of the most common operations performed by the NHS and the aim of the trial is to determine whether using robots results in better outcomes for patients.

In robotic assisted hip and knee replacement surgery, a robotic arm helps preparing the bone and inserting the components to a pre-programmed three-dimensional plan.

Using a robot to perform the surgery is thought to enable more precise, consistent surgical techniques, which may help to reduce variation and potentially prevent complications that can require additional surgery.

The robotic trial will be tested jointly with Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire, NHS Trust, and the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham along with Hywel Dda University Health Board.


Professor Peter Cnudde, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon said: “Robot-assisted surgery is used with great success in many procedures and can bring numerous advantages when compared to standard surgery.

“It is a big achievement for the team to be at the forefront of a world-leading multi-centre study like this, and we’re really pleased to be able to get the clinical trial started.

“Adding robot-assisted surgery to the surgical provision available at Hywel Dda UHB will, I believe, be of real benefit to our patients, and I look forward to leading this important piece of work.”

It’s hoped the research will help orthopaedic surgeons across the world understand the most effective tools and technology for performing hip and knee replacement surgery.

Professor Chris Hopkins, Head of Innovation & the Tritech Institute at Hywel Dda University Health Board said: “We are pleased that our surgeons at Hywel Dda UHB are playing a leading role in this clinical trial.

“We hope that the programme will lead to improved patient outcomes and go some way in tackling pressures in our system and our planned care waiting lists.”

The study will also include an in-depth health economic analysis to inform the NHS if this element of robot-assisted technology should be widely adopted.

Professor Leighton Phillips, Director for Research, Innovation and University Partnerships at Hywel Dda University Health Board added: “At Hywel Dda UHB, we pride ourselves on enabling our staff to engage in research and development that not only meets the needs of our current population but forges the way for future patients.

“We welcome the partnership with the Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire, NHS Trust, and the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham and the National Institute for Health and Care Research and look forward to influencing future orthopaedic innovations through our findings.”

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Ivor Schilling
Ivor Schilling
1 year ago

Humans will be replaced completely at some point, when it comes to work and complex tasks. We need to free people up to waste their mental and physical abilities on mundane tasks, trivial entertainments, spectator sports, consumer comforts, and chilling.

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