Innovative surgical option for total hip, partial knee replacement

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — An innovative surgical option for total hip or partial knee replacement lets doctors be more accurate and precise.

Mark Curran is now walking briskly, but that was not the case just three months ago.

“You kinda do this. You try to alleviate the pain as you’re walking,” said Curran. “You can feel the pain so you walk a little bit funnier.”

His arthritic left hip was the source of the pain.

“That’s healing nice,” said his orthopedic surgeon Dr. Paul Murray, looking at Curran’s fading four-inch scar. It’s the only visible sign of an innovative surgery, robotic-assisted joint replacement at Hartford Hospital.

“You always know where you are in the surgery with the robotic assistance,” said Dr. Murray.

The MAKOplasty technology provides a more precise and accurate placement of the new socket, guided by a robotic arm.

“If you’re cutting bone with robotic assistance and you are cutting some place where you may not want to be cutting, the robot won’t let you,” said Dr. Murray. “It will stop, the machine stops.”

It starts with a CAT scan. 

“This is a 3-D model of Mr. Curran’s CAT scan, pre-operatively, ” said Dr. Murray.

Important information that is then uploaded.

“It allows me to put that socket exactly where I want it based on the patient’s pre-operative CAT scan and template,” said Dr. Murray.

Patients like Curran, he says, should expect better results. 

“That socket has to be in the perfect position,” said Dr. Murray. “If it is in the perfect position, the patient’s total joint replacement most likely will last longer than traditional approaches and there will be less complications, such as dislocation.”

For those undergoing a partial knee replacement, “If the alignment isn’t spot on in a unique departmental knee replacement, that knee replacement will fail very quickly,” stressed Dr. Murray.

Now, Curran is feeling good and pain free.

“When I was feeling ready after three weeks, I was quite surprised,” he said.

Dr. Murray says the robotic-assisted surgery also reduces the risk of a follow-up surgery. The procedure is covered by insurance and Medicare.

Dr. Murray will be giving a presentation on MAKOplasty on Saturday, April 18, at the Farmington Marriott from 10-11:30 a.m. For registration, call (860) 545-1888.

For more information about the surgery, click here.

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