"In traditional manual knee and hip replacements," said McCollum, "we use a cutter, freehand, to perform the surgery. While we do imaging before the surgery, most of our decision-making about the best way to replace the joint is done during surgery."
For patients who have already had the joint replaced, or for those whose bodies don't follow the norm, manual surgery isn’t always an option and, if it is, it can come with challenges or complications. And for all patients, manual surgery can also mean larger incisions and longer healing times.
With Mako, incisions are smaller and healing times faster. Because the scan maps the surgery so precisely, it allows surgeons to minimize their incision and how much bone is removed. "The robot can remove sections of bone that are thinner than a credit card," said McCollum.
Plus, the robot will only let physicians cut in the correct plane, and it won't allow them to cut further than they determined during planning. As McCollum says, “It creates protective boundaries for our patients, and as a result, is safer and more accurate than manual surgery."
Carol said she’s thrilled with how easy recovery has been and how much better her knee feels. She’s so happy with the surgery that she's planning to get her right knee replaced using the Mako System.
When asked what she dreams about doing once her knee replacements are complete, Carol said,"My goal is to walk Walt Disney World with my family." But today, just two weeks after her knee replacement, she's looking forward to attending her grandson's baseball game, minus the usual arthritis pain.
The Advanced Orthopaedic Center, one of the medical center six Centers of Excellence, offers award-winning care for all types of orthopaedic issues. The staff works to deliver the most advanced skills, interventions, and treatments available in East Tennessee.
For more information on Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery or to schedule an orthopaedic consultation at the Advanced Orthopaedic Center, request information or call 865-305-8848.