BalanceBot: More Precise Total Knee Replacements


CHICAGO, Ill. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Each year, more than 800,000 people undergo knee replacement surgery in the United States. Today, 90 percent of all knee replacements last ten years and 80 percent last 20 years. Robotic surgery has become standard procedure. Now, a new technique is giving surgeons a way to be even more precise, allowing patients to heal faster and get back out there doing what they love. BalanceBot

From the everyday wear and tear to the extreme — the knee is the most injured joint in the body.

Orthopedic knee specialist, Jeffrey H. DeClaire, MD was one of the first to perform a total knee replacement. Now, he is one of the first to use a navigation software that not only makes sure the new knee is in the exact right spot, but the ligaments are as well.

“The BalanceBot is a method to measure ligament tension throughout the full range of motion on the inner half of the knee and the outer half of the knee,” Dr. DeClaire explains.

Traditionally, surgeons used their own experience and standard guidelines to position the ligaments around the implant.

Dr. DeClaire adds, “It didn’t include the tension or the balance of ligaments.”

Now, BalanceBot is taking out the guesswork. The system creates a 3D model in real time of the patient’s movement. After surgeons open the knee, two paddles on the BalanceBot are inserted, recording range of motion. The software then proposes an initial implant plan based on the anatomy of each individual patient. The software can predict how much of the ligament should be saved to optimize balance and joint stability.

Clinical trials on more than 1,200 patients show a satisfaction of almost 98 percent, compared to 75 to 80 percent with a traditional knee replacement. With this method, ligament releases have been drastically reduced, which means less trauma to the tissue, quicker recovery, and better outcomes. Each surgery then goes into a database and AI continually updates outcomes and learns from each surgery, ultimately improving results each time.

Contributors to this news report include Marsha Lewis, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer & Editor.

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REPORT:       MB #128


BACKGROUND: Knee replacement surgery — also known as knee arthroplasty — can help relieve pain and restore function in severely diseased knee joints. The procedure involves cutting away damaged bone and cartilage from your thighbone, shinbone and kneecap and replacing it with an artificial joint (prosthesis) made of metal alloys, high-grade plastics, and polymers. Knee replacement surgery is such a popular procedure that it is estimated to be performed about 800,000 times annually in the United States alone, and that figure increases every year. And about 90% of knee replacements last 10 years and 80% last 20 years.


DIAGNOSING: Resting and icing a knee may be common remedies to relieve knee pain, but how long until you feel the aches and pains again? If you have experienced any symptoms like persistent or reoccurring pain, pain preventing you from sleeping, difficulty doing daily activities including walking or climbing stairs, stiff or swollen knees, or a knee deformity like a bowing in or out of the knee, it might be time to consider knee replacement surgery.


NEW TECHNOLOGY: Minimally invasive quadriceps-sparing total knee replacement is a new surgical technique that allows surgeons to insert the same time-tested reliable knee replacement implants through a shorter incision using surgical approach that avoids trauma to the quadriceps muscle, which is the most important muscle group around the knee. This new technique which is sometimes called quadriceps-sparing knee replacement uses an incision that is typically only 3 to 4 inches in length and the recovery time is much quicker – often permitting patients to walk with a cane within a couple of weeks of surgery or even earlier. The less-traumatic nature of the surgical approach also may decrease post-operative pain and diminish the need for rehab and therapy compared to more traditional approaches.



Lisa Stafford

If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at