Your Health: Robotic Precision For Knee Replacement Surgeries
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Technology has become a part of almost every area of life; now it's quickly moving into the operating room. Advances in surgical equipment are typically good news for patients, often leading to less invasive and more accurate surgeries.
New robotic technology is being used in some joint replacement surgies for precise alingment of their implants. One patient who had the surgery says it gave her a faster recovery, and hopes it means better results in the long run.
"I was in pain all the time. My knee, it would click every time I walked, you could hear this 'click, click' with the bones," Beatrice Hayden explains.
Hayden is no stranger to pain. Running around with everyone from her grandchildren to her active German Shephard, she needed a total knee replacement on her left knee last year.
When it came time for a partial knee replacement for the right, she elected to have a MAKOplasty.
Cleared by the FDA in 2008, MAKOplasty uses the RIO - or robotic arm interactive orthopedic system - technology to deliver more accurate placement of implants.
"MAKO uses a CAT scan taken preoperatively to look at that bony anatomy that allows us to plan the operation from the CAT scan in terms of what were going to do - sizing, positioning, tracking of the device," Dr. Timothy Lane explains, "and then the combination of that computer information and a robot allows you to carry out the plan of a precise way."
Dr. Lane is an orthopedic surgeon with The Orthopaedic Institute who operates on patients at North Florida Regional Medical Center.
Using the surgeon-operated robotic arm, Dr. Lane and other trained surgeons at NFRMC can pinpoint on a 3-dimensional image what areas of the joint to remove in order to best fit the implant.
"It allows you to do precisely what you set out to do, which is hard to do with traditional instruments," Lane says.
Besides a precise fit, doctors hope this accuracy means the implants will last longer and better mimmic patients' natural movement. The procedure is now available for the first time in the Gainesville area at North Florida Regional Medical Center.
After her surgery Hayden says she was moving around almost immediately, able to walk on her new knee the very next day.
"It's unreal, I never thought I'd be walking in 24 hours, never," she says.
Currently, the MAKOplasty is only being used at NFRMC for partial knee replacement surgeries. In the future, doctors anticipate its use it in total knee and hip replacements as well.
For more information, visit: nfrmc.com
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