Total knee replacement surgery involves the cutting away and removal of worn cartilage and bone from the end of the thigh bone, top of the shin bone and usually the back surface of the knee cap.
This is one of most common procedures that Dr McAuliffe undertakes and is an area of special interest. Total knee replacement surgery has excellent rates of longevity which typically show survival rates at 10 years after the procedure of >90%.
It is however a difficult procedure and many reports in medical journals note patient dissatisfaction rates of between 10 – 20%. Therefore, Dr McAuliffe makes every effort to try and plan and personalise the operation to each patient to get their best possible outcome.
To try and achieve the best possible outcomes consideration is given to the use of computer or robotic guided surgery, detailed pre-operative knee planning using CT or MRI scans is often undertaken, individualised screening for clotting and infection risks and detailed attention is paid to post-operative pain management.
Patients are always followed carefully in the post-operative period to ensure they are given support when need for themselves and their carer, control any problems such as nausea in the postoperative period and to be certain that appropriate rehabilitation goals are being reached.
Robotic knee replacements
Is a relatively recent addition to knee replacement surgery. There are promising initial outcomes for robotic partial knee replacement procedures and some early benefits are suggested with regards total knee replacements.
The Australian Arthroplasty (Joint Replacement) Society has issued a position statement that notes, whilst potentially promising, robotic knee replacement surgery still requires further detailed study to determine its absolute benefits and when it is most appropriate for usage.
Dr McAuliffe has been using robotics for knee replacement surgery for several years and was one of the first surgeons in Queensland to utilise this technology. He has been an instructor on robotic knee surgery courses.
He would be happy to discuss whether robotics is likely to be beneficial for your knee surgery and to help you understand more about this technology.
“Best knee surgeon”
It is common to hear discussion in the general community about who is the “best surgeon”.
This is not really a something that occurs within the surgical community because there is no current way of comparing real world surgical outcomes.
Probably a better concept is to consider whether a surgeon is: respected by their peers, undertakes that procedure on a regular basis, remains up to date with current best practice, is surrounded by a high-quality team – in the office, theatre and ward and that they are aware of their own surgical outcomes, thereby understanding how to achieve constantly improving results.
These facets have all been shown to result in improved outcomes from surgery.
So, whilst the concept of the “Best Knee Surgeon” is flawed Dr McAuliffe’s practice is underpinned by striving to implement all the factors that are associated with the best outcomes for knee surgery.