Capital Medical Center welcomes robotic-assisted technology

April 23, 2020

‘Socket’ maybe your next “assistant surgeon” if you’re having a total and partial knee replacement and total hip replacement at Capital Medical Center! This is the first robotic assisted device in Thurston County.

On Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, members were invited to an event to look at this amazing system for a hands-on demonstration. Socket was also named by the community.

How does it work? First, it is important to note that robotic-assisted surgery, is operated by an orthopedic surgeon, following a procedural plan created by that surgeon custom-tailored to the needs of the individual.

The advantages of this state-of-the-art procedure stem from the robot’s software which turns a CT scan of the diseased joint into an interactive detailed 3D model in which the surgeon pre-plans the procedure.

The robot produces 3D imagery allowing the surgeon to see and measure the patient’s joint and surrounding tissue by virtually moving through the region of the affected area.

This allows for adjustments, considerations and alterations to be made as the surgeon walks through the through the process virtually before any incision is made.

Once the surgeon’s plan for surgery is programmed into the technology of the robot, the surgeon can execute the procedure with precise accuracy based on the exact dimensions of the individual’s diseased hip or knee.

In addition to the three-dimensional pre-surgical planning, the robot provides real-time visual, tactile and auditory feedback during the procedure to ensure accurate resurfacing and implant positioning, which can result in more natural knee motion for the patient following surgery.

What are the benefits of robotic-assisted technology for the patient?

  • Smaller incisions
  • Faster recovery
  • Optimal implant placement for potentially more comfort
  • Potentially reduced impact to surrounding tissue

How would this impact the workers’ compensation world? Ultimately, this precise surgery could enhance surgical outcomes, shorten recovery time and enable workers to return to work much earlier, resulting in significant savings to our claim management program and ultimately reduce member premiums.


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Washington State Hospital Association
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