Dr Chris Roberts from Peninsula Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine at Northern Beaches Hospital tells North Shore Living about the latest advancements.

Orthopaedics is the surgical treatment of bone and joint disorders. More than 15 specialists work out of Peninsula Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine at Northern Beaches Hospital, covering subspecialties including: hand and wrist; foot and ankle; knee, shoulder, hip, and spine.

With a passion for innovation and a commitment to patient care, Dr Chris Roberts is one of these specialists – a pioneering orthopaedic surgeon – who has embraced cutting-edge technology to transform how joint replacements are performed.

“With the Northern Beaches being such an active community, many patients have issues caused by sporting injuries, wear and tear, or conditions such as osteoarthritis and osteonecrosis – a disease resulting in the death of bone cells,” Dr Roberts tells North Shore Living. “It is a privilege to work with such a talented and cohesive team at Peninsula Orthopaedics and the Northern Beaches Hospital helping people return to the activities and lifestyle they love.”

Dr Roberts’ principal interests include anterior approach hip arthroplasty surgery, robot-assisted or computer-navigated partial and total knee arthroplasty and arthroscopic knee surgery.

“The most common procedures I perform locally are knee replacements, hip replacements and arthroscopic knee procedures for meniscal tears and anterior cruciate ligament reconstructions.”

“Robotics has revolutionised surgery and has been one of the most significant advances since I started as an orthopaedic surgeon,” says Dr Roberts. “To perform a total knee replacement, we used to put metal rods inside both the femur and the tibia and cut perpendicular to those.”

“With the aid of robotics and computer-assisted surgery we can now fine-tune the bone cuts with precision and accuracy within a millimetre, minimising soft tissue disruption and allowing implantation of the components into people’s knees to better match the structure of their bones and ligaments. This facilitates a much more tailored and personalised approach. The result is better function with generally quicker recovery and less pain.”

The surgery for hip and knee replacements takes about 90 minutes and Dr Roberts says the aim is to get patients back on their feet that same day.

“Another major advance in the last 10 years is a greater understanding of how the hip and spine work together in hip replacements. We can now take special scans of the spine, pelvis and femur prior to surgery to look at how they interact. This in turn allows us to plan the size, shape and position of the new hip to maximise the function and lifespan of the joint replacement and minimise the risk of dislocation.“

“After joint replacement surgery we aim to get people back on their feet as quickly as possible. They will typically use a walking aid for the first six weeks and are generally back to their favourite activities within three months but will keep improving for at least 12 months after surgery.”

“Through our ongoing research we continue to strive to refine our techniques to improve patient outcomes.”

While public waiting lists for elective surgery can be long – up to 12 months in many cases – private clients at Northern Beaches Hospital can undergo surgery within a month of referral.

Peninsula Orthopaedics &
Sports Medicine
Northern Beaches Hospital
Suite 20, Level 7
105 Frenchs Forest Road West
Tel: 9972 9111 I Fax: 9972 9024
Email: crreception@penorth.com.au