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In Good Health

In Good Health: Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery

There are more than 100 different types of arthritis.

If all conservative measures have been exhausted for you, surgery may be in your future but if you are hesitant, McLaren Northern Michigan offers a robotic surgery and it’s proving to have great benefits for patients.

Whitney Amann explains for this In Good Health.

For nearly three years, Lisa Schneider had trouble doing things many people might take for granted.

“We got to a point where it was hard for me to go out and walk, it was hard to do anything, any activity, I had such excruciating pain all the time,” said Lisa. “We did a vacation last summer and I had to take a rest in the middle of the day on our vacation because I just couldn’t manage it so I finally decided I have to do something.”

That’s when she agreed to a total hip replacement with a surgeon at McLaren Northern Michigan, who specializes in Mako robotic arm assisted joint replacement surgery.

“We are able to get diagnostic studies, i.e. a CAT scan of the affected limb prior to surgery, which we have available for preoperative planning,” said Dr. Angus Goetz. “We take that CAT scan and we upload it to a computer associated with the Mako robotic protocol and it gives us the information available on the screen so we can already predetermine what the patient’s deformities are, what the sizes of their implants likely are going to be and it allows us by using this technology in the program to make decisions prior to ever touching the patient in terms of how do we maximize the operation to best affect that individual.”

Studies are still coming out for this type of procedure but surgeons and patients, already see and feel the benefits.

“Surgery can be faster because we already know that the proper to plan prior to the surgical intervention therefore, we know the sizes, the angles, what we’re going to do, how we’re going to do it,” said Dr. Goetz.

Studies also suggest less pain than a traditional joint replacement.

“Oftentimes we will repeat cuts until we get to that place that we feel is best for the patient but with this technology, we can make all those decisions virtually based on the CAT scan and the computer program so we’re not repetitively insulting the patient,” said Dr. Goetz.

Another benefit for Lisa, the option of going home that night.

“Surgery was on a Wednesday, the following Tuesday I started physical therapy and by the following weekend I was walking completely on my own without a walker or any type of cane or any crutch whatsoever so it was just a remarkable recovery,” said Lisa.

Getting patients back to their normal life, even quicker.

Dr. Goetz says “studies suggest the recovery time is faster and my personal experiences as well.”

“When you’re a very active person, I’m a retired schoolteacher so I was at my feet all the time and so when you go from that point to where you can hardly walk, it’s just very very disheartening to go to I can’t even hardly walk or have a productive day,” Lisa said. “So when you finally get back to that routine of being able to move around and do what you’re used to doing, it’s kind of like a real sense of joy or relief. I feel like a whole new person again, like I can actually go do things and I’m not in pain all the time.”

For more health tips and information on the robotic procedure, click .

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