By: 8 July 2021
Scottish first for Rosa robot as NHS Golden Jubilee expands service

Orthopaedic surgeons at NHS Golden Jubilee have successfully carried out Scotland’s first total knee replacement procedure on a patient using a ROSA robot.

The NHS board based in Clydebank, which carries out around 25% of all joint replacements in Scotland, has expanded its robotics programme and will offer Scottish patients more precise operations, shorter hospital stays, and quicker recoveries – all of which will help cut waiting times.

The hospital, which treats patients from across the country, now has three orthopaedic robots – two MAKOs and a ROSA.

There are now also 10 orthopaedic surgeons at the Golden Jubilee trained to use the robots which support hip and knee replacement surgery.

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Chris Gee said: “It’s a very exciting time for NHS Golden Jubilee after the first ROSA robotic knee replacement in Scotland and with our expanded service as a whole.

“Robotic orthopaedic surgery should help patients go home quicker, reduce the soft tissue swelling that will quicken their healing, and allow us to place joint implants even more accurately, which should mean that they last for longer, reducing the need for future surgery.

“So far, I am seeing my knee replacement patients going home around a day sooner than normal. While this has a lot to do with the well-established enhanced recovery programme at NHS Golden Jubilee, the robotics component has a part to play in that as well.

“One of the big things patients like about the robotics is that reassurance that we’re giving them the best possible chance for the best possible outcome from their joint replacement.”

Patient Margaret Brown from Dumfries was the first patient in Scotland to have a total knee replacement done with a ROSA robot.

She said: “My knee has limited me a great deal. I’m pleased it’s all done with now. My local hospital said I would get my operation quicker here and I wanted to take that opportunity to help me get back to some sort of normality like going for a simple walk with friends.

“I felt quite excited about having the robotic procedure. It was completely my decision to go for it. All the staff were really supportive and explained everything to me really well and I didn’t want to waste any more time on a waiting list.

“Having that pain and mobility problem has a big impact on your life. I’m not expecting any surprises. I’m looking forward to the results being positive. The doctors, consultants and nursing staff have all done theirs so it’s up to me now and I’ll do my bit.”

NHS Golden Jubilee will aim to carry out over 1,000 robotic orthopaedic procedures next year – around a quarter of the total number of joint replacements the facility carries out.

Claire MacArthur, Director of National Elective Services at NHS Golden Jubilee, said: “NHS Golden Jubilee is one of Europe’s largest centres for planned arthroplasty, performing around 4,000 joint replacements each year – around 25% of all joint replacements in Scotland.

“We are unique in Scotland in that we maintained a ‘green’ (covid light) hospital site, enabling us to fully resume our planned surgery programmes earlier than other hospitals. To support the safe resumption of services, our clinical teams developed ‘green’ patient pathways.

“Since we resumed our orthopaedic surgery programme in July 2020, we have treated over 3,400 orthopaedic patients.”

“Early data indicates that patients are benefitting from robotic surgery through shorter stays in hospital and better recovery post operatively.”


Image: Patient Margaret Brown received the first total knee replacement in Scotland, using a ROSA robot. Credit NHS Golden Jubilee