North County residents, suffering with debilitating knee pain due to arthritis or injury, now have access to the latest advancement in knee and joint replacement surgery – Mako™ Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery. Through computed tomography (CT)-based 3D modeling of the knee bone anatomy, surgeons at Tri-City Medical Center can use the Mako System to create a personalized surgical plan and identify the desired implant size, orientation and placement based on each person’s unique anatomy.
“Mako is the gold standard for robotic platforms for knee replacement surgery,” said Morgan Silldorff, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon at Orthopedic Specialists of North County (OSNC), one of Tri-City’s affiliated clinics, who performed Tri-City’s first Mako surgery in early March. “Once the patient’s 3D model is uploaded to the computer system, I can register the patient's knee and virtually modify the surgical plan intraoperatively in real time, if needed. This gives me the ability to make any adjustments before I make an incision, so that when I do, there is a high degree of precision.”
Dr. Silldorff uses another component of the Mako System, AccuStop™ haptic technology, to control the robotic arm and make the incision precisely where it was planned, which may help to preserve soft tissue, ligaments and healthy bone for some individuals. Mako is the only SmartRobotics System that can be used to perform total knee, total hip and partial knee replacements. This minimally invasive approach offers benefits such as less post-operative pain, less need for pain medication and inpatient physical therapy, smaller scars and improved knee flexion.
“An additional benefit of having knee and joint replacement surgery at Tri-City, is that this hospital has one floor dedicated solely to post-operative orthopedic patients, unlike other hospitals in San Diego County who combine all post operative surgery patients into a medical surgery floor,” said Andrew Cooperman, MD who is also a board-certified orthopedic surgeon at OSNC and joined the medical staff at Tri-City in 1990. “Every day on this unit, we have several orthopedic-certified nurses who specialize in treating patients recovering from orthopedic surgery and because of this, our patients often have a shorter hospital stay and quicker recovery.”
Depending upon their health and the extent of their knee replacement surgery using the Mako System, some patients may be able to walk within days afterwards and return to activities of daily living anywhere between two to five weeks; physical therapy will also be needed for six to eight weeks.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, total knee replacements in the United States are expected to increase 189% by 2030, the mean age for this type of surgery is 65 years of age, and women continue to make up the majority of patients. “We are seeing more people in their 50s, who have unsuccessfully tried conservative methods like injections and anti-inflammatory medications, now considering this elective surgery while they are young and healthy so that they can regain their quality of life,” said Dr. Cooperman.
“It’s exciting that Tri-City now offers this transformative technology to the community,” said Dr. Silldorff. “When I see patients for follow-up visits several weeks and months after surgery, they give me high fives and hugs and tell me that the pain they lived with for years is completely gone and that they feel like they have their lives back. That's an extremely rewarding thing to hear.”
With the addition of Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery to its robotic surgery suite that also includes the Mazor Robotic Renaissance® surgical guidance system for minimally invasive spine surgeries and the da Vinci Xi™ Robotic Surgical System for procedures in gynecology, urology, cardiovascular, orthopedic and general surgery, Tri-City now has one of the most comprehensive robotic surgery services in the area.
Call Tri-City Medical Center today at 760.724.9000 to schedule a consultation with one of their orthopedic surgeons or visit tricitymed.org/mako to learn more.