Robots are increasingly being developed for use in surgery to aid physicians in providing more precision, especially during procedures requiring fine movements that may be beyond the scope of the human hand. In addition, robots enable the surgeon to provide improved accuracy and reproducibility with the goal of better outcomes. To date, most robotic surgical systems are in the design and experimental stage. For robotic systems to gain widespread acceptance in surgery, they must first prove their value in clinical application and ease of use as well as provide a favorable cost-to-benefit ratio. I provide an overview of the history of robotics in orthopaedic surgery and a review of their current applications with some predictions of the future for this technology. © 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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