Reid Orthopedics adds second robot for joint replacements
A new robotic technology is working so well for patients, Reid Health has expanded the program by adding a second unit for the four surgeons who are using it.
Robotic-Arm assisted technology increases
accuracy in joint replacement surgery, helps reduce complications, leads to
faster recovery and a reduced need for rehab therapy after an operation, says Joel McClurg,
M.D., attending orthopedic surgeon and chairman for Reid Health Orthopedics
Reid Health is among only a handful of facilities with this
option for orthopedic patients. Dr. McClurg, who has been using Mako for eight
years, said when it first became available, he knew it would be popular and
raise the standard for joint replacement because it helps the surgeon be more
"Technology is the future of almost everything," he says. "I
knew it was going to be better, and it was better for my patients."
Since it became available, Mako's popularity with patients
and surgeons has increased dramatically. Reid's Mako robotic program started
almost two years ago with Dr. McClurg's arrival. The recently added second unit
"increases bandwidth" for the robotic program, allowing the option to be
readily available to more patients. The technology takes the decades-long experience
of joint replacement surgery from "consistently good" to "consistently great,"
Dr. McClurg says.
More than 400 patients have benefited from the robotic
system since Mako was added, Dr. McClurg said.
Stryker's Mako System is a robotic-arm assisted technology
for use in total knee, partial knee and total hip replacements. "Using a
virtual 3D model, Mako allows surgeons to create each patient's customized surgical
plan before the surgery. During surgery, the surgeon implements the plan and adjusts
for increased accuracy while using the robotic arm," says Dr. McClurg, one of
four Reid Orthopedics surgeons now using the technology. Also regularly using
Mako are Mario
Lee, M.D., James
Nuttall, M.D., and Christopher
In a partial knee replacement surgery, the system helps
improve accuracy for the size and placement of the new joint, targeting only
the part of the knee damaged by osteoarthritis and sparing more healthy bone.
The result is a more accurate placement that can help reduce pain and speed
healing, Dr. McClurg says. "About ten percent of patients with knee arthritis
are great candidates for a partial replacement."
The total knee application is an option designed to relieve
pain caused by joint degeneration from osteoarthritis, and also results in
improved accuracy, less narcotic use, less need for physical therapy and
decreases overall costs. "This has accelerated the use of robotics nationally
in the past few years."
The Mako Total Hip application is a treatment option for
adults who suffer from degenerative joint disease of the hip. During surgery,
the surgeon guides the robotic-arm during bone preparation in the hip socket
and positions the implant according to the pre-determined surgical plan.
An expansion with the technology expected in 2021 will also
add total shoulder replacement surgery as an option using the Mako Robot, Dr.
McClurg notes, with Reid being one of the first health system's in the region to
be able to offer this use of Mako. "This will be an exciting expansion of the
The demand for joint replacements is expected to rise markedly in the next decade as Baby Boomers continue to age.
An expansion with the technology expected in 2021 will also add total shoulder replacement surgery as an option using the Mako Robot, Dr. McClurg notes, with Reid being one of the first health system's in the region to be able to offer this use of Mako.