By 2030 knee surgeries up 673% - Doctors offer new 3-D-Robotic approach
(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – As a society, we are older and heavier than we have ever been, and that combination is causing some serious problems with our joints. In fact, experts say in the next 20 years, knee surgeries will have skyrocketed a remarkable 673%*, mostly to pain from arthritis or repair damage caused by a excessive weight.
To keep pace with rising demand, doctors are offering a more efficient approach to knee surgery, that employs state-of-the-art 3-D imagery and robotic technology.
“We can plan our surgery in three dimensions, we can rotate the image around and make sure it’s perfect in all different planes, before ever picking up a scalpel” says Dr. Andrew Glassman, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Ohio State University Medical Center. Glassman is one of the first surgeons to use the technique, known by the commercial name Makoplasty.
“We’re able to precisely plan the operation” said Glassman. “That is the most important point - with this technology we can plan our surgeries extensively and execute that plan perfectly.”
Unlike traditional knee surgeries that use x-rays and other 2-dimensional data, the Makoplasty software does it all in 3-D, and makes use of tiny, accurate tools that can shave bone down to one-tenth of one millimeter. That allows surgeons to focus only on the diseased parts of the knee joints without involving or damaging healthy tissue.
Glassman says surgical teams will take extensive CT Scans of a patients knee, then load that into a computer which re-creates it graphically and plots the surgery move by move. Then, in the operating room, doctors use a robotic arm to execute the plan.
“The computer has in its mind a concept of this knee, its size and its shape, we just have to tell the robot, where the actual knee is” he said. “Once it knows where that knee is, and how you want to prepare the bone, which is a part of your pre-operative plan, the robotic arm then guides the surgeon to exactly how and where to prepare the bone.”
Because of the pre-planning and the exact technology, experts say the surgeries are more efficient and require less trauma to the patient. “Less blood loss intra-operatively, less pain post-operatively and faster rehabilitation, and, therefore, shorter hospitalization” said Glassman.
That’s something that appeals to Fred Carson, a 60 year old contractor from Columbus, Ohio. “The pain that you go through, you just can’t imagine” he said. “When I stand up, there are times that it’ll totally give way. It’ll give out. Not good.”
Despite the pain and weakness, however, Fred says he has put off surgery because of the time it takes to heal. Most contractors only get paid if they work, and the prospect of missing 6-8 months, as some traditional approaches may require, keeps Fred putting up with the pain.
But when he heard about the Makoplasty approach, Fred scheduled his surgery almost immediately. More preoperative planning means smaller incisions, less trauma and dramatically quicker recovery times. In Fred’s case, it could be as little as a month and a half. “Six weeks, man, that’s good. And if you can get out of this without any kind of pain, man, that’s really wonderful.”
While the surgery holds the promise of efficiency for both the surgeon and the patient, doctors stress it’s not for everyone. “Typically we use it in people who have arthritis confined to one or possibly two of the three joints that comprise the kn
ee joint” said Glassman. It’s intended to work best for restructuring and partial knee replacements, and is not used for those who have deformities of the knees, or other systemic diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis.
With knee surgeries expected to approach the 4-million a year mark in the next 20 years, doctors and patients will undoubtedly look to make use of more efficient, and effective, approaches like this.
Las cirugías de la rodilla las nuevas técnicas son más eficientes