Arrival of next-gen robotic solution for knee replacement

Tuesday, 27 July, 2021

Arrival of next-gen robotic solution for knee replacement

A next-generation robotic-assisted solution for knee replacement has been added to the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods, making Australian orthopaedic surgeons among the first in the world to access the technology.

The VELYS Robotic-Assisted Solution from DePuy Synthes — the orthopaedics company of Johnson & Johnson — is indicated for use with the ATTUNE Knee System for total knee arthroplasty and is designed to address some of the challenges cited with robotic-assisted technologies relating to operational efficiencies.

“Australia joins an exclusive list of just a few countries with access to this technology to date,” said Sue Martin, Managing Director of Johnson & Johnson Medical Australia and New Zealand.

“The introduction of the VELYS Robotic-Assisted Solution is testament to Johnson & Johnson Medical Device’s ongoing commitment to create innovative technologies that help hospitals and surgeons improve patient outcomes and advance the sustainability of Australia’s healthcare system.”

An increasing number of surgical procedures utilise robotic assistance,1 however, the impact of robotic technology on operational efficiency, including surgical time and the technological learning curve, has been reported as a drawback.2

During total knee replacement, the VELYS Robotic-Assisted Solution adapts to the surgeon’s workflow, utilising advanced planning capabilities, proprietary technology and a next-generation design to help surgeons accurately resect bones that align and position the implant relative to the soft tissue, without the need for pre-operative imaging.

The operating-table-mounted solution is efficient and compact in its design, meaning it can integrate into any operating room with a much smaller footprint, at less than half the size of some other robotic-assisted solutions.3,4

The VELYS Robotic-Assisted Solution simplifies knee replacement surgery in several ways:

  • Valuable insights: gap balance data to help surgeons visualise and predict joint stability.
  • Versatile execution: instinctive, integrated design to give surgeons the control they’re used to while optimising daily OR flow.5
  • Verified performance: accurate, consistent plan execution supporting the ATTUNE Knee in providing better patient outcomes.6-9

Last year, Auckland-based orthopaedic knee surgeon Dr Mark Clatworthy* became the first surgeon in the world to perform surgery using this technology.

“I’ve used the VELYS Robotic-Assisted Solution in 60 of my ATTUNE Knee procedures and have found it to be accurate, fast and efficient. This next-generation device enables me to evaluate the bony anatomy and soft tissue envelope of the knee to plan the optimal implant position and then use the robotic-assisted solution to deliver and execute the plan. I’ve found my knees to be well balanced at the end of the procedure and my patients are doing well post-operatively.”

The VELYS Robotic-Assisted Solution is part of the broader VELYS Digital Surgery Platform of connected technologies powered by data insights and designed to elevate the orthopaedic experience for patients, surgeons and their teams across the entire continuum of care.

Ben Travers, Vice President of DePuy Synthes in Australia explained, “VELYS Robotic-Assisted Solution works exclusively with the ATTUNE Knee System, which studies have shown can improve clinical outcomes and patient-reported outcomes, as well as contribute to a shorter length of stay in hospital. Supporting the ‘patient-specific alignment’ surgical method, VELYS Robotic-Assisted Solution has also been designed to assist surgeons in providing a knee alignment that is tailored to each patient’s anatomy.

“With the addition of VELYS Robotic-Assisted Solution to our VELYS Digital Surgery Platform, we are continuing our vision to be the most personalised and connected orthopaedics company,” he added.

Next-generation training

To ensure surgeons and hospitals are supported when introducing VELYS Robotic-Assisted Solution, DePuy Synthes Australia is providing a suite of training solutions to enable surgeons and their teams to test and familiarise themselves with the technology and how it operates.

“To support a next-generation robotic solution, we’ve made a significant investment in next-generation training to provide comprehensive, accessible and personalised learning to the VELYS Robotic-Assisted Solution,” Travers said.

Training solutions will include:

  • A semi-trailer-mounted mobile lab with self-contained meeting, training and lab space with VELYS Robotic-Assisted Solution. This mobile training environment is enabled to connect with surgeons and R&D teams around the world.
  • Life-like, 3D-printed, surgical models for an enhanced surgical training experience.
  • Virtual reality operating environments where surgeons around the world can experience virtual reality surgical procedures using VELYS Robotic-Assisted Solution.
  • A dedicated and personalised online learning platform.

“Our high-tech mobile lab is the first of its kind in Australia. We’ll bring it to hospitals and clinical teams to facilitate hands-on learning, without the need for them to travel to undertake lab-based training,” Travers said.

The mobile lab will begin its tour, visiting hospitals throughout Australia, in September 2021. For more information on VELYS Robotic-Assisted Solution healthcare professionals can visit:


  1. Millennium Research Group, Inc. Orthopaedic Surgical Robotic Devices. 2018; M360SU0001.
  2. P Sousa et. al. 2020. Robots in the operating room during hip and knee arthroplasty. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. Accessed: 8 July 2021.
  3. RIO Technical User Guide (February 24, 2021). Internal Report 103732371. (As cited in The VELYS™ Robotic-Assisted Solution versus Mako® A comparison of system compactness).
  4. VELYS Robotic-Assisted Solution Operation Dimension (February 24, 2021). Internal Report 103486302. (As cited in The VELYS™ Robotic-Assisted Solution versus Mako® A comparison of system compactness).
  5. User experience evaluation of the VELYS Robotic-Assisted Solution for total knee (July 2020). Internal Report 103744839.
  6. Doan G, Curtis P, Wyss J, Clary C. Resection Accuracy Improved during Robotic-Assisted Total Knee Arthroplasty – a Cadaveric Study. Internal Report 103720852.
  7. Hamilton W, Brenkel I, Barnett S, et al. Comparison of P.F.C. SIGMA to ATTUNE: A Prospective, Multicenter Study. Podium Presentation at the Closed Meeting of the Knee Society, Sept 2018, St Louis, MO, USA. 2018.
  8. Fisher D, Parkin D. Optimizing the Value of Your Patients’ TKA: How to Leverage Data from Patient Reported Outcomes, Becker’s Hospital Review, webinar recording, Oct 2019,, last accessed 10-18-19.
  9. Ranawat CS, White PB, West S, Ranawat AS. Clinical and Radiographic Results of ATTUNE and PFC SIGMA Knee Designs at 2-Year Follow-Up: A Prospective Matched-Pair Analysis. J Arthroplasty 2017; 32:431-6.

*Dr Mark Clatworthy is a surgeon innovator for DePuy Synthes Joint Reconstruction.

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