Faster Recovery and Less Pain
July 8, 2021
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 32.5 million adults in the U.S. suffer from osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease that breaks down the cartilage within a joint and begins to alter the underlying bone. This typically results in severe pain, stiffness and swelling that can reduce function and prevent people from performing their daily tasks. These issues usually develop slowly and worsen over time, sometimes to the point that total joint replacement becomes necessary.
While traditional joint replacement surgery can help an osteoarthritis patient reclaim their mobility, the road to recovery after the procedure is often a lengthy and arduous one. To improve and expedite recovery for these patients, Texoma Medical Center is pleased to offer Mako SmartRobotics™ robotic-arm assisted surgery.
Dr. J. Tyler Newton, an orthopedic surgeon at Texoma Medical Center, has been performing joint replacement surgery with the Mako surgical system for more than five years. On what initially caught his interest in robotic-assisted surgery, Dr. Newton says, “It allows us to perform a truly personalized procedure based on the patient’s unique anatomy. The system runs a pre-op CT scan that enables us to understand the structure of the joint, granting us more options for sizing and positioning. In the long run, this correlates to quicker, less painful recovery because less soft tissue is removed.”
To dissuade the misconception that robotic-assisted surgery is performed by the system itself, Dr. Newton emphasizes that the system is only an instrument being guided by the surgeon. “The surgeon still performs all the steps of the procedure. The robot allows for more data-informed planning, more precise cuts and quantified ligament tension. The data it provides allows us to accurately adjust the implant positioning and tension, which helps to balance the joint and achieve better patient satisfaction.”
The Recovery Process
The value of the system’s high level of precision and detailed insight into patient anatomy is made most clear during the recovery process. “It allows them to regain their range of motion in less time and helps pain subside faster,” says Dr. Newton. “This makes for a much easier time for patients trying to reach their recovery goals during physical therapy.”
Dr. Newton states that primary candidates for robotic-assisted joint replacement surgery are people with primary osteoarthritis who have not had a prior joint replacement. Additionally, those with a severe deformity or bone loss make ideal candidates because the system allows for precise planning and fine tuning to meet their unique needs. He concludes that most people are suitable candidates, and they should talk to their physician to find out if the procedure is right for them.
Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if robotic surgery is right for you.