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Robot assisted hip surgery trial launches

A new study has launched jointly run by University of Warwick, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust, and the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital (ROH) in Birmingham on the effectiveness of robotic hip replacement surgery.

Through £1 million in funding from the National Institute for Health and Care Research the study hopes to determine whether use of robots in hip surgery results in better outcomes for patients.

The RACER-Hip Study has an aim to give new insight into the value of robotic assisted surgery in the NHS. The study is being led by two surgeons, Mr Peter Wall, from the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital Birmingham and Warwick Clinical Trials Unit at the University of Warwick, and Professor Ed Davis, from the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital Birmingham.

Mr Wall said: “The RACER-Hip study is a significant investment by the NHS to examine the effectiveness of robotic hip replacement surgery. Robotic technology has the potential to revolutionise hip replacement surgery, however the first step to this is understanding whether it can help enhance the care surgeons provide. We are really excited that some centres such as Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust have been provided with a robot specifically to take part in this research.”

Professor Davis added: “The research will help orthopaedic surgeons across the world to better understand the most effective tools for performing hip replacement surgery and ensure the very best outcomes for their patients. This study will also include an in-depth health economic analysis to inform the NHS if this technology should be widely adopted.”

Through a randomised study, each treatment group will be evaluated after surgery to understand their ability to complete activities and their quality of life.

At least six NHS trusts will be involved. The first site has opened at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, while the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has just taken delivery of one of the robots for the trial, said to be the first time this service will be available within the NHS for hip operations in the Northeast of England. The manufacturer of the robot, Stryker, will be supporting the study costs to ensure hospitals do not have to pay extra to take part.