New hip, knee replacement surgery cuts recovery time

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by Lucy Bustamante, 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on February 28, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 28 at 8:01 PM

NORFOLK--A local hospital is using cutting edge technology to perform groundbreaking surgery.

The surgery is called Makoplasty and it trims the recovery time for patients who would have needed a full knee or hip replacement.

With so many baby boomers wearing out their knees and hips, the surgery could change the way people feel about getting them replaced.

Thursday, 61-year-old Cindy Bartlett was getting ready for makoplasty surgery at Bon Secours Mary Immacualte Hospital.

Bartlett was numb but awake and ready to leave her injuries in the past.

"I love to do long distance bike rides and it was becoming more and more difficult to do a bike ride," said Bartlett.

The nurse placed her leg into a boot which is secured to the table. Then the team loaded a cat scan of her injured knee into the computer.

Dr. Anthony Carter lined up her knee with the scan using black sensors. He marked in yellow what needed to be scraped.

Dr. Carter said his goal was to, "try to preserve as much tissue as possible."

Dr. Carter performed the surgery using a robotic arm to guide him.

"We can do it with such precision.  We can do it within half a millimeter of a degree. We can get the components in precisely," said Dr. Carter.

An hour later he fitted the metal replacement and the computer verified that the bone was accurately placed.  He then cemented the material and closed it back up.

Bartlett is thrilled Makoplasty helped her avoid a full knee replacement.

"I didn't want that because half of my knee was just fine, and it was when the Makoplasty became a possibility, it was phenomenal because they could leave the healthy bone all together," said Bartlett.

Bartlett will be back to her everyday activities in a month.   Dr. Carter said recovery time is 5 weeks to return to full range of motion.

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