// By Paul Royycki //
If you ask Judy Roach how she feels about McLaren’s new Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery, she won’t have to tell you; she will show you by breaking into a dance step.
“I used to walk with a cane and I was bent over,” she says after her recovery from her knee surgery. “Now I can’t tell you how much better I feel.” During an interview with ABC12’s Mallory Pearson, she said, “I love to dance” and joined the reporter in a two-step as she displayed her revived dancing skills for those at a McLaren press conference, which introduced the new surgery system to the Flint area. Roach was the first patient to experience the new system in Flint and had her knee surgery only four weeks before the press conference.
At a recent “Meet the Mako Robot” event, McLaren Flint demonstrated the new surgical technique, which is expected to make surgery for total knee, partial knee and total hip replacements much more personalized. The procedures are designed for those dealing with pain from degenerative arthritis in the joints. The Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery system allows the surgeon to take a CT scan of the patient’s bone, make a 3-D model of it and custom fit the surgery to each individual. The Mako system allows the surgeon to create a personalized plan for implant size, orientation and alignment for each patient, rather than using a preset jig (template) to fit the knee replacements. Customizing treatment for each patient makes for a better fit for the new knee or hip.
As a result, the expectations for speedy recovery time improve and negative side effects are minimized. Medical studies have shown the Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted replacements to be two to three times more accurate than the manual partial knee replacement procedures.
McLaren’s Seann Willson, M.D., who was the first orthopedic surgeon at McLaren to use the new system, describes her own experience with the Mako Robotic Arm. She says, “With the Mako technology, I am able to create each patient’s surgical plan preoperatively before entering the operating room. During surgery, I am able to validate that plan and make any necessary adjustments while guiding the robotic arm to execute that plan. Our surgical team has information at our fingertips that we’ve never had access to before. The Mako technology provides a much more predictable surgical experience with increased accuracy.”
A study by Steven Kurtz and colleagues projected that between 2005 and 2030, the total number of knee replacements would grow by 637 percent (to 3.5 million procedures) and the total number of hip replacements would increase by 173 percent (to 527,000 procedures). To meet that increased demand, McLaren is utilizing the new Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery system that transforms the way surgeons are able to do knee and hip surgeries, improving both patient outcomes and recovery times.
According to Chad Grant, president and CEO of McLaren Flint, “We are proud to be the first area hospital to offer this highly advanced robotic technology to perform total knee, total hip and partial knee replacements. This addition to our orthopedic service line further demonstrates our commitment to bringing the newest innovations to the community for advanced patient care.”
Roach would agree as she steps onto the dance floor with her new knee.