A clinical study is to be carried out on a new surgical device that has the potential to save the NHS money and change the way knee joint replacements are conducted in the UK.

The study will be carried out at the NHS Glasgow Royal Infirmary and the University of Strathclyde in Scotland.

The RIO Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopaedic System was developed by MAKO Surgical and will be used for the first time outside the US, where it has been in use since 2006.

The device is commonly used for knee joint resurfacing on patients with early to mid-stage osteoarthritis of the knee and has been found to improve surgical accuracy and reduce patient recovery time.

MAKO has partnered with orthopaedic surgeons from NHS Scotland and engineers from the University of Strathclyde to establish a surgical robotics centre, which was launched on 3 June 2010.

Over the next three years, researchers at the university, in conjunction with participating NHS surgeons, will carry out randomised clinical trials of the new device to assess its clinical and financial benefits to the NHS.

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