Trident Health System
August 25, 2020

Orthopedic surgeon Richard Zimlich, MD, was the first surgeon to use the new technology at Trident Medical Center.

Trident Medical Center introduces robotic–assisted knee and hip replacement technology

Charleston, SC – Trident Medical Center has expanded their Lowcountry-leading minimally invasive robotic-assisted surgery program with the addition of a new device for knee and hip replacement surgery. Orthopedic surgeon Richard Zimlich, MD, who is on the medical staff at Trident Medical Center, was the first surgeon to use the technology at Trident. He says one of its primary benefits is it allows surgeons to create a custom surgical plan unique to each patient.

“Robotic-arm assisted surgery is the latest advancement in joint replacement surgery that offers the potential for a higher level of patient–specific implant alignment and positioning,” said Dr. Zimlich. “The technology allows surgeons to create a patient-specific 3D plan and perform joint replacement surgery using a surgeon-controlled robotic-arm that helps the surgeon execute the procedure with a high degree of accuracy.”

The robotic-arm-assisted joint replacement technology is used for total and partial knee replacements and total hip replacements. Knee and hip replacement surgery are the most common total joint replacement surgeries. More than one million patients undergo the procedures each year in the U.S.

“Robotic-arm assistance allows me to perform the surgery with less invasive techniques. It aids in both perfect implant placement and soft tissue balancing. The science tells us that this will result in increased patient satisfaction, better function, and improved longevity of the results,” explained Dr. Zimlich.

“We are excited to expand the variety of advanced robotic technology we offer our community,” said Trident Medical Center CEO Todd Gallati. “The addition of robotic-assisted orthopedic surgery compliments what our surgical specialists do every day using our other robotic technology to treat urological, cancer, heart, lung, spine and many other abdominal diseases and disorders. We are committed to continue providing high-quality, convenient care right here in the Lowcountry.”

The technology's partial knee application is a treatment option designed to relieve the pain caused by joint degeneration due to osteoarthritis that has not yet progressed to all three compartments of the knee. Following the personalized pre-operative plan, the surgeon guides the robotic-arm during bone preparation to execute the pre-determined surgical plan and to position the implant. By selectively targeting only the part of the knee damaged by osteoarthritis, surgeons can resurface the diseased portion of the knee while helping to spare the healthy bone and ligaments surrounding the knee joint.

The technology's total hip replacement application is a treatment option for adults who suffer from degenerative joint disease of the hip. During surgery, the surgeon guides the robotic-arm during bone preparation to prepare the hip socket and position the implant according to the pre-determined surgical plan.

About Trident Health

For more than 40 years staff and physicians at Trident Health have provided acute healthcare services to families in South Carolina's Lowcountry. Services are provided through its two acute care hospitals – Trident Medical Center and Summerville Medical Center – three freestanding emergency departments - Brighton Park Emergency, Centre Pointe Emergency and Moncks Corner Medical Center – and two urgent care centers – CareNow Urgent Care Goose Creek and CareNow Urgent Care North Charleston. Both hospitals have received top ranking as Joint Commission Top Hospitals for Quality Performance and are Joint Commission Certified for Advanced Heart Failure and Advanced Primary Stroke Centers. Trident Health is one of the South Carolina Lowcountry's largest employers with more than 2,500 employees and has a medical staff of nearly 500 physicians. In 2019 it provided $47 million in uncompensated care and paid $33.5 million in local, state and federal taxes. To learn more about how Trident Health is growing to meet the needs of our growing region and how to join our team go to Trident Health System.