Backus Hospital Announces Breakthrough for Hip & Knee Patients

A Breakthrough for Hip and Knee Patients
Backus’ new robotic surgical technique a more precise and less invasive alternative
to hip replacement and knee resurfacing
NORWICH, CT – Backus Hospital is the first hospital in Eastern Connecticut to offer a new robotic surgery for hip and knee procedures.

In March, Backus performed its first MAKOplasty® for partial knee resurfacing and total hip replacement procedures using the RIO® Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic System. RIO is a surgeon-controlled robotic arm system that enables accurate alignment and placement of implants.

Orthopedic surgeons William Cambridge of New London County Orthopedic Surgery and Scott Stanat of Norwich Orthopedic Group will conduct a free community education event on the MAKOplasty technology for knee and hip procedures on Tuesday, April 28, from 6 - 8 p.m. in the Backus Hospital main lobby conference rooms at 326 Washington Street in Norwich. Refreshments will be provided. Call 860-892-6900 to register.

Backus surgical services staff completed training with the new technology on March 14.  Dr. Stanat – who was trained on the system during fellowship – performed the first procedure at Backus on March 20.

“This technology gives me an extra tool to ensure accuracy,” Stanat says. “In a partial knee procedure for example, I’m able to manually stretch and balance the knee during surgery and use the computer navigation to my advantage—assuring proper alignment and balance.”

The RIO System features a patient-specific visualization system and robotic arm technology that is integrated with intelligent surgical instruments. It assists surgeons in pre-planning and in treating each patient uniquely and consistently.

Dr. Cambridge performed a procedure using the RIO system on March 23.

“This technology allows us to implant the joints more accurately. That’s the big advantage. If we implant the components more accurately during a hip replacement for example, patients have less of a chance of a dislocation or one leg being shorter or longer than the other,” Cambridge says.

During MAKOplasty total hip replacement surgery, RIO provides visualization of the joint and biomechanical data to guide the bone preparation and implant positioning to match the pre-surgical plan. After first preparing the femur or thighbone, the surgeon uses the robotic arm to accurately ream and shape the acetabulum socket in the hip, and then implant the cup at the correct depth and orientation. The surgeon then implants the femoral implant.  MAKOplasty can help surgeons with more accurate cup placement and leg length restoration.

MAKOplasty Partial Knee Resurfacing is a treatment option for adults living with early to mid-stage osteoarthritis that has not yet progressed to all three compartments of the knee. It is less invasive than traditional total knee surgery. A pre-surgical plan is created based on a CT scan of the patient’s own knee, and the surgeon uses the robotic arm during surgery to resurface the diseased portion of the knee, sparing healthy bone and surrounding tissue for a more natural feeling knee. An implant is then secured in the joint to allow the knee to move smoothly again.

Nurse Gail Delaney-Kimball, Regional Director of Surgical Services at Backus, says because of the less-invasive nature of the procedure, patients recover faster and the number of patients needing revision is less than 1%.  Other benefits of MAKOplasty Knee and Hip procedures can include a smaller incision, reduced blood loss, bone sparing, shorter hospitalizations and a more rapid return to every day life’s activities.

“This is a very advanced technology that we are very excited to offer to patients in our community.  It’s a very precise approach to fitting the implants that is not possible with traditional arthroplasty," she says.