Region’s First Outpatient Robotic Joint Replacement With Dr. Eric Tannenbaum: Patient Success Story

On Monday, Aug. 1, the very first robotic surgery at Columbus Specialty Surgery Center was completed. It was also the region’s first robotic joint replacement surgery performed at an ambulatory surgery center, or outpatient surgery center.

Fellowship-trained orthopedist and certified robotic hip and knee surgeon Dr. Eric Tannenbaum performed the procedure. But this story starts with Grant I., 65, of Greensburg, who received the new knee after years of pain.

“I finally succumbed to the pain,” Grant said. “Both my knees have bothered me the past five years . . . this past winter is when it really hit me.” The cold, according to Grant, made his knees a major problem.

“After it warmed up, I still had the pain,” he continued. “That’s when I went to Southern Indiana Orthopedics.”

Grant was seen by Dr. Tannenbaum, who explained that he had severe arthritis in both knees, or bone-on-bone degeneration. Once the best pathway to relief was determined, Grant needed to decide which knee would be replaced first. He chose the left knee.

“I was in and out the same day,” said Grant. “I was in there at six o’clock in the morning, and I was out of there by about two in the afternoon.”

Some of that speed was due to the use of the ROSA Knee surgical system with robotic assistance, which Dr. Tannenbaum explains offers enhanced precision and accuracy.

“I feel that all patients can benefit from the power of this technology,” Dr. Tannenbaum said. “This new robotic technology provides more accurate feedback to the surgeon during a joint replacement surgery.

“This real-time feedback makes sure the parts used to replace the worn-out knee are put in the position that most closely resembles their native knee,” Dr. Tannenbaum continued. “We know that these parts last longer when put in with accurate position and alignment.” 

“The leg actually looks pretty good—No complications,” Grant said just days after surgery. “Everything is looking pretty nice for just having had it done—Everything looks healthy.” 

Dr. Tannenbaum believes this technology can help anyone with advanced arthritis, saying “the procedure is the same as it was before we had robots; the robot simply provides us with data and helps us get closer to performing perfect surgery every time. 

“Therefore, the ideal candidate in my mind is anyone with end-stage knee or hip arthritis who has failed all other forms of nonoperative treatment and is in need of a joint replacement.” 

To Dr. Tannenbaum, the future looks very bright for joint replacement technology, and he even plans to incorporate augmented reality glasses in an upcoming shoulder replacement surgery. The future is also looking brighter for Grant.

“Overall, I’m doing pretty well,” Grant said. “I’m trying, and I’ll succeed on it—I’m walking and exercising and getting outside.”

To learn more about your options for joint pain or to see if you’re a candidate for robotic-assisted joint replacement, call (812) 376-9353 or request an appointment online to be seen by a total joint care specialist at Southern Indiana Orthopedics.