Artificial intelligence (AI) is quickly gaining momentum and being adopted in our daily lives. The medical sector is not far behind, given that more research into the integration of AI for different industries is being explored.
AI has the potential to revolutionize the field of orthopedic surgery by improving the accuracy and efficiency of procedures, enhancing patient outcomes, and reducing costs. From incredibly precise imaging to accurate surgical planning, AI will continue to expand the bounds of orthopedic practice.
Here are some ways AI might change orthopedic surgery in the future:
1. Preoperative planning: AI can help improve preoperative planning by analyzing patient data from X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs more accurately and quickly. Providing biomechanical information it could be used to create 3D models of the affected area. Surgeons can then use these models to better understand the patient’s anatomy and plan the surgery with greater precision.
2. Robotic-assisted surgery: Robotic-assisted surgery, which involves the use of robotic systems to perform surgical procedures, is already being used in some orthopedic surgeries. AI can help improve the accuracy of these systems by providing real-time feedback and adjusting the robotic arm’s movements to ensure optimal outcomes.
A robotic arm is much more precise than the human eye, enabling more accurate positioning to decrease soft tissue damage and deliver better stability and range of motion for the patient. The surgeon allows the robotic arm to control the bone cuts and remove just enough bone with an accuracy of 0.5 millimeters. Although robots still require supervision by an orthopedic surgeon, they can perform many tasks in the operating room, such as:
- Cutting and reshaping bone
- Positioning implants
- Guiding surgeons in positioning instruments
- Modeling joints in 3D
3. Predictive analytics: AI can help identify individual patient factors that may affect the success of a surgery, such as age, medical history, and lifestyle factors. This can help surgeons develop personalized treatment plans that are tailored to each patient’s unique needs. When a surgeon can more accurately predict the outcome of a procedure, they can adjust their patient’s postoperative care plan accordingly.
4. Remote monitoring: AI can be used to remotely monitor patients after surgery, analyzing data such as movement patterns, vital signs, and medication use to identify potential complications or other issues. This can help improve patient outcomes and reduce the need for hospital readmissions.
While remote patient monitoring exclusively measures physiological data, like oxygen and glucose levels, remote therapeutic monitoring (RTM) collects non-physiological data, like therapy adherence and pain levels, to provide even more insight into the patient experience. Because most of this data is self-reported by patients, incorporating RTM will encourage patients to invest in their own health. Higher engagement helps patients adhere to their treatment plans and ultimately improve their outcomes.
5. Rehabilitation: AI can be used to develop personalized rehabilitation programs for patients recovering from orthopedic surgeries. These programs can be tailored to each patient’s specific needs and can help improve recovery times and reduce the risk of complications.
While AI is still in the early stages of development in orthopedic surgery, it has the potential to significantly improve patient outcomes and change the way surgeons approach these procedures in the future. However, it’s important to note that AI will be used in conjunction with human expertise and not as a replacement for it.
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SRO is a full-service orthopedics practice committed to providing exceptional care for all types of orthopedic injuries and conditions and keeping abreast of the latest nonsurgical and surgical treatment options and innovations for a wide range of orthopedic sub-specialties and sports medicine.