Local News

Aug 7, 2014 12:30 PM by Rachel Cole - rcole@kristv.com

New Robot Helps with Hip and Knee Replacements for Patients

CORPUS CHRISTI - A new one-of-a-kind technology that helps surgeons perform knee and hip replacements, has made it's way to the coastal bend. Right now, the machine can only be found at South Texas Surgical Hospital.

Surgeons like Jeff Schlimmer say, the biggest benefit to the Rio Robot is being able to align and position implants for knees and hips alike, just right.

"It's exciting, in that, the precision we can place the implants is much better than we could before," Dr. Schlimmer said.

If the bur, the tool used to buzz away bone, strays away from the problem area, the robot will stop automatically. Doctors, say that in-turn spares healthy bone and surrounding tissue.

Dr. Brian Patterson with STSH says, people who have hip or knee pain, should consider a MAKOplasty.

"MAKOplasty is a new exciting procedure that we can perform that allows us to do a partial knee replacement using a computer or computer generated images, allows us to be more accurate and make smaller incisions," Dr. Patterson said.

The robotic arm system allows a doctor to
determine just the right implant size. Then, position it with more accuracy than the old-school "hands-on" style. Dr. Schlimmer has already conducted a handful of these surgeries and says patients are thrilled with the results.

"They are surprised at how quickly they can get out of bed and start moving and recovery's been much faster than other forms of unicompartmental knee replacement, I've done in the past," Dr. Schlimmer said.

Surgeons say the precision helps create a more natural feeling knee or hip. The surgery is performed, after a pre-surgical plan is developed based on a patient's CT scan.

If you want to learn more about the Rio Robot, you can attend one of South Texas Surgical Hospital's seminars. It's holding one on August 27th at 6p.m. in the lobby, that is open to the public.

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