‘Right now, I would say I'm perfect,' SA woman undergoes new type of knee replacement

Baptist Orthopedic Hospital offering robotic arm-assisted knee replacement

By Tiffany Huertas - Video Journalist

SAN ANTONIO - A new kind of operation that shortens the time of the procedure and promises to reduce recovery time is now available in San Antonio.

Baptist Orthopedic Hospital is offering Stryker’s robotic arm-assisted total knee application for use with its Mako System.

Since June 2017, they have performed 36 total knee replacement surgeries using the robotic arm.

Through CT-based 3D modeling of bone anatomy, surgeons can use the Mako System to create a personalized surgical plan and identify the implant size, orientation and alignment based on each patient’s unique anatomy.

“It has enough movement where you can guide the instrument, but it won’t allow you to go out of the parameters it's set by the computer. So it’s pretty safe,” Dr. Eloy Ochoa, with Baptist Orthopedic Hospital, said.

Ochoa said the surgery takes about 50 minutes and that the robotic arm is able to pinpoint problems easier.

"I think it's a more accurate measurement tool. It still doesn't take the surgeon out of the picture, he is still guiding the instrumentation and the most important part, the decision-making preoperatively, it’s still done by the surgeon,” Ochoa said.

From 2000 through 2010, total knee replacement increased for both men (86 percent) and women (99 percent) age 45 and over, according to the CDC.

Willie Griensenbeck underwent the surgery at Baptist and said it was a success.

"Three or four days after that, I was pretty much walking without my walker,” Griensenbeck said. "Right now, I would say I'm perfect."

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