J&J’s DePuy Synthes orthopedics robot cleared for partial knee replacements

Johnson & Johnson MedTech’s orthopedics division, DePuy Synthes, has claimed an FDA clearance for its Velys surgical robot that expands its use into partial knee replacements.

While total knee replacements make up the much larger share of procedures to treat osteoarthritis—where Velys obtained a green light in 2021—partial implant surgeries can offer patients the chance to preserve more natural bone and have potentially faster recovery times. 

However, DePuy Synthes said that partial replacements, also known as unicompartmental knee arthroplasties, have been underutilized due to the complexity of a procedure that features smaller incisions and provides less vision into the joint.

According to the company, the Velys robot—along with its Sigma HP knee implant system—is designed to deliver precise placements in medial and lateral procedures without the need for a CT scan.

“We are excited to add a robotic-assisted offering with our clinically proven implant for UKA which we believe will address some of the key unmet needs in the partial knee replacement segment, including accuracy and simplicity, that other systems on the market do not fully address,” DePuy Synthes Chairman Aldo Denti said in a statement.

The use of a robotic system also aims to enable more reproducible and consistent outcomes, while still personalizing surgical planning based on knee alignment and the joint’s balance in its connection to soft tissue.

“Data and analytics will continue to serve as the backbone of our platform, which reveals real-time, actionable insights for surgeons to empower patient-specific operative decisions with the goal to improve outcomes and deliver personalization at scale,” Denti said.