Flexing Robotic Muscle for Joint Precision
Orthopedic surgeon John Wright, MD, has a new assistant in the operating room, and it goes by the name Stryker Mako.
The nearly million-dollar robotic-arm assisted system might sound like space-age stuff, and it is high tech. What it does is enhance the surgeon’s touch.
“It’s a guidance tool. This is not the robot operating. The robot is not making an incision,” Dr. Wright said.
The robot’s role is to help the surgeon operate with meticulous results. That’s important for joint replacements, where alignment is critical.
“The human eye cannot measure to the millimeter or degree,” Dr. Wright said. But the robot can, and guides the surgeon’s hand for exact results.
- Its CT scans allow for painstaking 3-D preoperative planning. “We can choose the optimal size of the joint components and positioning of the components,” Dr. Wright said. Without the robot, surgeons rely on 2-D X-rays.
- It provides real-time intraoperative guidance on positioning – much like driving a car with GPS, rather than an old-fashioned map. “This is an added level of precision,” Dr. Wright said. “It’s nice to know exactly where you are.”
- Its real-time CT scans also allow surgeons to check their work before leaving the operating table. “It ensures that you have very precisely executed your preoperative plan,” Dr. Wright said.
An anonymous gift of $947,500 to the Good Samaritan Foundation made the purchase of the Stryker Mako system possible. CHI Health Good Samaritan is the first hospital in Nebraska to have the robot.
“We greatly appreciate the generosity of this donor,” Dr. Wright said. “It’s a thrill to be on the leading edge of technology. In five years, it will look archaic not to do these surgeries with robotic technology.”