UofL Health physicians celebrate 1,000th successful robotic-arm assisted surgery

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — UofL Health physicians at Jewish Hospital’s Total Joint Replacement Program celebrate their 1,000 Mako Robotic Assisted joint replacement procedure for patients seeking treatment with hip and knee arthritis.

Last month, Michael Kirkham became the 1,000th patient at Jewish Hospital to successfully undergo a procedure with the Mako robotic assisted system when he received a total knee replacement. During hip and knee replacements, the Mako system accurately determines the implant size and provides exact placement of the total joint replacement parts based on the individual patient’s bone anatomy. The robotic arm of the Mako system helps the surgeon performing the procedure to make precise bone cuts and place the total joint hip or knee implants to exactly match the patient’s anatomy based on the preoperative plan. The use of intraoperative computer technology and robotic assisted surgery for total joint replacement minimizes the risk of human error in implant size, placement and inadvertent soft tissue damage. This type of smart intraoperative technology also provides the surgeon the ability to make any necessary adjustments during the procedure in real-time to achieve the target surgical goal. Jewish Hospital, part of UofL Health, is the only facility in the region to perform these cutting-edge procedures.

“The Mako system procedures allow us to better plan for hip and knee replacement surgeries to exactly hit our surgical target which creates a more favorable outcome for the patient,” said Kirkman’s surgeon, Dr. Arthur Malkani, MD, Orthopedic Surgery.

Dr. Malkani, along with his colleagues Dr. Logan Mast and Dr. Madhu Yakkanti, have performed the majority of hip and knee replacement surgeries at Jewish Hospital using the Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Technology.

“This innovative technology allows us to customize the placement and size of hip and knee implants for the individual patient using minimally invasive surgery techniques allowing for a perfect fit in addition to faster recovery, less opioid consumption and improved outcomes”

Kirkham had undergone a prior surgery for a torn meniscus last year but continued experiencing knee pain. After visiting with Dr. Malkani, he decided to proceed with a Mako Robotic assisted total knee replacement procedure due to the benefits of less pain, soft tissue trauma, and reports of better overall long-term recovery.

“Every day I can see some improvement and getting around is much better,” said Kirkham shortly following his surgery.

The Mako system allowed physicians to replicate Kirkham’s knee alignment prior to his injury, and before the area became arthritic. They were then able to reestablish his knee’s pre-arthritic alignment with extreme accuracy. Using the Mako system’s 3D model imagery specific for that individual patient, physicians can pre-operatively plan the surgical goals on a computer screen to obtain the surgical goals to provide a pain free along with a well-balanced and stable total knee replacement and then execute the plan using the Mako robotic assisted technology in real time.

“The Mako system gives us the ability to develop patient-specific 3D models of the arthritic area,” said Dr. Malkani. “This 3D technology lets us know precisely where to place the new parts and the exact size of the parts needed.” “The use of computer technology and robotic assisted surgery has been a significant benefit and evolution in the field of total joint replacement in helping surgeons improve surgical accuracy and overall satisfaction in our patients undergoing hip and knee replacement.”

After undergoing Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery procedures, patients like Kirkham have reported less short-term pain than those who underwent conventional replacement surgery. Those who undergo Mako systems procedures also report faster recovery times and improved patient satisfaction.

“I am very satisfied with my surgery and without all the pain, I am looking forward to getting back to enjoying hiking, gardening, yard work, camping and spending time with our five grandkids.” said Kirkham.

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