More than 15 million Americans suffer with painful osteoarthritis of the knee, which often affects their quality of life. In fact, osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and a leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Fortunately, many of those suffering from this painful condition in the Pine Belt can now benefit from a new treatment option that increases their chances of returning to an active lifestyle – the RIO Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic System at Forrest General Hospital.
The RIO system brings a new treatment option to Forrest General called MAKOplasty®, a Partial Knee Resurfacing procedure designed to relieve the pain caused by osteoarthritis. The most common surgical treatment for the disease is a total knee replacement, where the natural knee is removed and replaced with an artificial implant. However, this is not always the best option for patients with early to mid-stage osteoarthritis that has not affected their entire knee. For those patients, MAKOplasty® Partial Knee Resurfacing may be the more appropriate solution. “We are pleased to bring this technology to the Pine Belt area,” said Southern Bone and Joint board-certified orthopedic surgeon James Sikes, M.D.
“We want to offer this minimally invasive procedure with precision to our patients with knee pain who do not need total knee replacement.”
MAKOplasty® offers many benefits over traditional total knee replacement. It has been shown to improve surgical results and shorten hospital stays, thanks to the less-invasive surgical procedure that uses smaller incisions, reduces blood loss and leaves less scarring. Dr. Elliott Nipper, board certified, fellowship trained arthritic joint replacement orthopaedic surgeon at Southern Bone and Joint, said MAKOplasty® removes less bone from the joint because it is resurfacing. “There is a smaller incision than total knee replacement,” said Nipper, “and the robotic arm provides consistent precision.” Dr. Michael Stonnington, board-certified orthopedic surgeon at Southern Bone and Joint, added that the new procedure provides a quicker healing time. “This technologically-advanced procedure is ideal for patients who have early stages of osteoarthritis or localized arthritis in the knee. However, not everyone is a candidate,” said Stonnington. This new procedure is proven to give patients more natural knee function after surgery, helping them get back to an active lifestyle. In many cases, patients are allowed to walk soon after surgery, drive a car in the first few weeks and return to normal daily activities shortly thereafter.
“Makoplasty is an innovative bone sparing reconstructive procedure performed with robotic assistance,” said Hattiesburg Clinic board-certified orthopedic surgeon Raymond Whitehead, M.D. “This will translate into a shortened hospital stay and a faster functional recovery for selected patients who meet the operative criteria. I am very excited to have the opportunity to offer this emerging technology to my patients.”