Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Navio?

The Navio is a Robotic-Assisted surgical system combining sophisticated computer navigation and handheld robotics to assist surgeons with pinpoint guidance to remove damaged knees and insert new implants, customised to each patient’s unique anatomy.

What does it replace?

There are currently multiple techniques used to implant knee replacements.

  • mechanical jigs
  • 3D printed cutting guides
  • computer navigation

Mr Petterwood has previously used all of these techniques and is now using the Navio Robotic-Assisted technique.

Why use the Navio robotic-assisted technique?

Knee replacement surgery is generally considered a very successful operation. More than 60,000 Australians undergo knee replacement surgery each year.

Despite this, research suggests that many patients continue to be unhappy following surgery. In some series dissatisfaction rates of up to 15 per cent have been reported. With this in mind, we are continually striving to improve short and long-term outcomes in knee replacement surgery.

Accurate implantation of the knee replacement is vital to patient function and satisfaction as well as to the long-term survival of the implant.

Robotics allows for accuracy and precision in both implant positioning and soft tissue balance. The sophisticated computer navigation software used in this system enables intra-operative customisation of your surgery giving you a patient specific solution to your knee arthritis.

Our aim is to provide you with the best possible outcome in the short term and the least chance of requiring revision surgery in the future.

Can the Navio only be used for Total Knee Replacement?

No. The Navio Robotic-Assisted system can also be used for both  Uni-Compartmental and Patellofemoral joint replacements.

These procedures have historically had much higher rates of failure than total knee replacement surgery. The introduction of robotics in this field has led to a significant reduction in complications and early failure rates.

The precision with which the Navio Robotic-Assisted System allows component implantation may open up the possibility of partial knee replacement to a greater number of patients.

What implant is used?

Mr Petterwood uses the Legion Total Knee Replacement system with a Verilast bearing surface produced by Smith & Nephew.

The Legion is a very well performing implant on the Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint Replacement Registry with a revision rate of 3.3 per cent at 7 years.

Mr Petterwood uses the Journey family of implants with the Navio Robotic-Assisted System for patients requiring partial knee replacements.

Will there be any change to the incision on my knee?

The Navio Robotic-Assisted System requires two pins to be placed in both the tibia and femur to allow visualization of the knee by the computer navigation. This requires two 2-3 mm incisions in both the tibia and femur. There is no change to the size of the knee incision, which is placed directly on the front of the knee and is around 10-15cm in length.

Will I recover faster?

The aim of the Navio Robotic-Assisted System is to allow accurate placement of bone cuts and precise tensioning of the soft tissues. This reduces variability of outcomes and patients can have less pain in the early stages of recovery. The first six weeks following surgery is a critical and patients are advised to strictly follow their rehabilitation program.

Are there any potential complications?

Complications are certainly possible following knee replacement surgery. The overall complication rate in knee replacement is around 4-5% and this will be discussed with you at length when you meet with Mr Petterwood.

The Navio Robotic-Assisted System is specifically designed to reduce the complication rate following knee replacement, in particular early dissatisfaction and long term wear and loosening.

Is this the ‘Mako’?

No. There are currently two robotic assisted knee replacement systems available in Australia. The Navio, produced by Smith & Nephew, and the Mako, produced by Stryker.

The Navio has several benefits over the Mako in that it uses an imageless system and has a handheld design that enables greater ease of use and surgeon control.

Do I need a CT scan before hand?

No. The Navio Robotic-Assisted System is imageless and does not require a pre-operative CT scan. The sophisticated computer navigation system allows a precise avatar of your knee to be created intra-operatively, which is then used to determine the most accurate positioning of your knee replacement customised to your unique anatomy.

Does it cost any more?

No. There is no extra charge for the use of the Navio Robotic-Assisted System above the cost of your knee replacement. Mr Petterwood is a ‘known gap’ biller. You can learn more about his fees here.

Can I have a Navio Robotic-Assisted Knee Replacement elsewhere?

Not in Tasmania. Mr Petterwood is the only surgeon in Tasmania with access and training in the use of the Navio Robotic-Assisted System.

Before a surgeon can use the Navio Robotic-Assisted System they must go through a TGA approval process and be adequately trained in its use.

Mr Petterwood is part of the Australian Limited Market Release Team for the introduction of the Navio Robotic-Assisted Total Knee Replacement System to the Australian market.

Can my hip replacement be done using the Navio Robotic-Assisted system?

Not yet, however, the Navio Robot is being developed for applications other than knee replacement surgery including direct anterior approach total hip replacement and anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.