Knee replacement patients in south-east regional Victoria no longer have to travel to metropolitan areas for treatment, with cutting-edge technology now available in Gippsland.
Maryvale Private Hospital is the first hospital in regional Australia to offer the CORI system for knee replacement surgery.
CEO Lee Garwood said the second-generation robotic system provided significant advancements in technology and surgical precision, with direct benefits to patient outcomes.
“Whilst outcomes may vary from patient to patient due to clinical history and disease severity, patients could benefit from an improvement in Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) which include areas such as pain levels, treatment satisfaction and joint stiffness,” he said.
“Other benefits include a shorter length of stay in hospital, allowing patients to rest and recuperate in their familiar surroundings with family, friends and loved ones, and it may allow a patient to be able to return to activities of daily living sooner.”
The robotics-assisted approach is more accurate than traditional knee surgery, combining the benefits of the accuracy of robotics assistance with the skills and training of the surgeon.
The equipment sends precise information about the patient’s knee to the robotics-assisted hand piece more than 300 times per second, allowing the removal of damaged surfaces to balance the joint and position the implant with accuracy.
Accuracy is important in knee replacement surgery because if an implant is positioned incorrectly, it may not function as well or last for as long as it could.
Increased accuracy of the prosthetic knee placement also means patients can maintain more of their natural rhythm and step.
“The specialists and clinical team are delighted to have this new technology at Maryvale, particularly as we are one of the few hospitals in Australia currently with access to this new technology,” Mr Garwood said.
“Our team are constantly learning new and improved ways in which to deliver clinical care which improves patient outcomes and the overall experience.”
Maryvale’s first surgical procedure using the new system was recently performed by orthopaedic surgeon Ben Brooker of Gippsland Orthopaedic Group.
“Being the second hospital in Victoria and the first in regional Australia to have the CORI system is a fantastic win for Gippsland,” Mr Brooker said.
“Access to this level of advancement in orthopaedic technology will have significant benefits to Gippslanders.
“In bringing this service to Gippsland, it may allow patients to regain faster function with the use of their knee, with smoother recovery, and be discharged from the hospital sooner when compared to conventional surgical techniques.”
Mr Garwood said access to this kind of technology was vital for patients in regional areas.
“We want to do as much as we can to invest in making care, services and technology accessible to our community and closer to home,” he said.
“Direct benefits in increasing access to new services and technologies assist in addressing the challenges associated in travelling long distances to access private healthcare services.
“There can be additional and often indirect costs of accessing services further away from home – for example, the cost of travel, parking, accommodation – so we want to help reduce the burden of our patients and family members in being able to access cutting edge technology closer to home.”
Mr Garwood said the CORI system was part of the “systematic improvement to services” at Maryvale Private Hospital, based at Morwell in the Latrobe Valley.
“We are working on a $16 million hospital redevelopment project with support from Maryvale Private Hospital’s owner and health fund insurer, Latrobe Health Services,” he said.
“Stage one, set to be completed in late 2022, is the largest piece of work in the redevelopment.
“Once complete, stage one will see the expansion of two new operating theatres, new central sterilising services department and a new theatre recovery area including 19 day case beds.”