The future of total joint replacements


Here are three advancements in total joint replacements that orthopedic leaders should know:

The first reverse total shoulder arthroplasty using Apple Vision Pro

G. Russell Huffman, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Philadelphia-based Rothman Orthopedic Institute, completed the first reverse total shoulder arthroplasty using the Apple Vision Pro. 

Apple Vision Pro is Apple's first 3D camera. It was used to organize and manage the procedure.

The shift to outpatient 

Joint replacements are swiftly moving into the outpatient setting. 

In 2023, joint replacements at Dallas-based United Surgical Partners International's ASCs increased 20% year over year in the fourth quarter and were up 15% for the full year.

"Total joint surgeries grew significantly in the fourth quarter, even above what we were running during the course of the year," said Saum Sutaria, MD, chair and CEO of Tenet Healthcare, which owns USPI, in a quarterly earnings call transcribed by Seeking Alpha. "We feel very good about that going forward."

More facilities hop on the robotics train 

The future looks bright for robotics in the orthopedic space.

Becker's reported on eight practices and health systems adding spine and orthopedic robots to their facilities in the first quarter of 2024. Several of these robots are used for joint replacements, such as the Velys robotic system for knee replacements or Zimmer Biomet's Rosa knee system.

Many hospitals and health systems have recently hit milestones with these robots. In March, Ruberte Thiele, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Sovah Health-Danville (Va.), completed the 100th robotic knee replacement surgery at the hospital. In February, Indiana (Pa.) Regional Medical Center successfully completed 500 joint replacement surgeries with the Mako SmartRobotics system.

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