PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - It's a brand new way to treat knee Osteoarthritis more precisely. "Prior to even going into the O.R., we've already basically done the case on the computer," Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Nick Connors said.
It's called MAKOplasty - the patient gets a CT scan and the surgical team creates a 3D model. That tells them exactly how much bone they'll remove, what size implant they'll need and where they'll put it, before any incision is made!
"Enter that into the computer, that enters it into the robotic arm, and then we take our robotic arm with the little burr on it and just burr away the precise amount of bone in the perfect alignment," Connors said.
Peace River Regional Medical Center in Port Charlotte just spent $1 million on this system and Tuesday, we had a front row seat for its second knee replacement. It's the first and only place in Charlotte County offering this procedure. Don't worry, the robot isn't calling the shots. "I am in complete control of the arm, but it doesn't let me go too deep, it doesn't let me go too far to the back where you could damage something or too far to the inside or outside where you could hurt a ligament," Connors said.
Some benefits of this type of surgery are a shorter hospital stay, a quicker recovery and a much smaller incision. "25 hours after surgery, they're home, a lot of patients are walking, without even a cane or a walker," Connors said.
While it takes the same amount of time as a traditional knee replacement, it gives surgeons like Dr. Nick Connors and their patients more peace of mind.