Monday, June 30, 2008
Medical Reports: Robotic Repair
Thanks to aging and plenty of aggressive sports, there are a lot of people out there with bum knees. Now doctors are turning to robots to give them a hand in the operating room, making partial knee surgeries easier and more precise. Seven's Richard Lemus shows us this new Robotic Repair.
WSVN -- Don't call them doctor just yet, but robots are changing the way surgeons work in the operating room.
Dr. Martin Roche, orthopedic: "It's a very smart instrument. The surgeon is in full control of the robot, and the robot gives me feedback."
Dr. Martin Roche, an orthopedic surgeon at Holy Cross Hospital has a new surgical partner. He's using this robotic arm to help perform partial knee replacement surgeries.
Dr. Martin Roche: "The best part of this technology is that, with the use of the robot, the accuracy and the precision are excellent."
During partial knee surgery, damaged or diseased areas of cartilage are removed and then replaced with an implant, but it's often hard for doctors to guess how much cartilage to take out.
Now this robotic computer system helps map out the knee and pinpoint exactly what needs to be replaced.
Dr. Martin Roche: "During my procedure, I know that my accuracy is better than the human eye. I spend most of my time not looking in the knee joint but actually on a virtual computer screen."
The robotic arm also guides Dr. Roche to remove a precise amount of the cartilage. That way much of the natural knee is spared.
Dr. Martin Roche: "By preserving all the normal ligaments, tendons and the other cartilage that's normal in the knee, patients' knees feel like their knees. Their motion returns to normal and their function returns almost to normal."
The idea is to help patients like Barbara Garafloa avoid a total knee replacement, which leads to a quicker recovery.
Her knee used to look like this, bone rubbing against bone.
Barbara Garafloa: "The knee pain was unbelievable. I couldn't stand for a long period of time. I definitely stopped working out."
Barbara had the partial knee surgery about eight months ago. She can now easily move her knees and is back to working out everyday.
Barbara Garafloa: "Now, it's phenomenal. I do everything I did before without having any pain. The partial knee is working for me, and I probably won't even need a full knee replacement."
Thanks to a good doctor and his trusty robot giving him a helping hand.
Richard Lemus: "Most insurances do pay for this procedure. It's not advised for patients who have full-blown arthritis in their knees or osteoporosis."