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Published on December 14, 2016

Mercy completes first robotic-arm assisted knee replacement surgery

Mercy is first in the area to offer Mako™ partial knee replacement and Mako total hip replacement

Mercy Medical Center has added a new Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery System by Mako for partial knee and total hip replacements, making it the first hospital in eastern Iowa to complete a surgery using this advanced technology. The Mako system is a surgeon-controlled robotic arm system that enables accurate alignment and placement of implants.

“Accuracy is essential in planning and performing both partial knee and total hip procedures,” said Dr. Sandeep Munjal, PCI Orthopaedics, who performed the surgery at Mercy. “For a good outcome, you need to align and position the implants just right. The Mako system enables the surgeon to personalize partial knee and total hip procedures to achieve accuracy and reproducibility previously not possible with conventional means.”

Sue Harrington, 67, was the first patient to receive a partial knee replacement with the Mako surgeon-controlled robotic arm system at Mercy. A painful left knee was getting in the way of her active lifestyle. As an avid walker, aerobics instructor, community volunteer and grandmother of six, she didn’t want to slow down. Dr. Munjal recommended partial knee replacement surgery utilizing the new Mako technology. She is thrilled with the results.

“I feel the surgery was very successful. I was walking down the hall five hours after my surgery. I’ve never needed a cane or a walker. In just three weeks, I’m back to my active lifestyle and walking four miles a day,” said Harrington.

Partial knee replacement using the Mako system is an option for adults living with early to mid-stage osteoarthritis that has not yet progressed to all three compartments of the knee. It is less invasive than traditional total knee surgery. A pre-surgical plan is created based on a CT scan of the patient’s own knee, and the surgeon uses the robotic arm during surgery to resurface the diseased portion of the knee, sparing healthy bone and surrounding tissue for a more natural feeling knee. An implant is then secured in the joint to allow the knee to move smoothly again.

With total hip replacement surgery, the Mako system allows the surgeon greater visualization of the patient’s joint and uses that biomechanical data to prepare, shape and implant the replacement during surgery. The Mako system offers the confidence of more accurate cup placement and accurate leg length restoration.

“Offering this new technology is part of our commitment to continue providing the most advanced healthcare for our patients,” said Dr. Munjal.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome or a better doctor,” said Harrington. “I think he’s wonderful. And the staff and technology at Mercy are top-notch.”

Learn more about the Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery System at Mercy.

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