Mather Surgeon Performs World’s First Robotic-Assisted Total Knee Replacement Using Navio™ System
Laurie Mullens didn’t so much care that on July 20, 2016 she was about to have the world’s first total knee replacement using the Navio™ robotic-assisted surgical system. She just wanted the pain to stop.
Mullens, 63, of Farmingdale, who had enduring “excruciating pain” for 10 years in both her knees due to arthritis, had already had her left knee replaced in March 2016 by orthopedic surgeon Brian McGinley, MD, using Mather’s computer-navigated knee replacement system. When it was time to replace her right knee in July 2016, Dr. McGinley said he wanted to use the Navio™ surgical system.
“Because he did the first knee and it was so great and I had so much faith in him, I was fine with however he wanted to do the second one,” said Mullens, adding that McGinley assured her that he, and not the Mather Surgeon Performs World’s First Robotic-Assisted Total Knee Replacement with Navio™ Surgical System.
“It’s the next step in technology. We enter the patient’s anatomical data into a computer at time of the surgery. The computer controls the robotic attachment,” Dr. McGinley said of the handheld tool used in the procedure. “It allows us to do very accurate placement of our cutting block so we can cut the surface of bone to restore the patient’s normal leg alignment. If you accurately align the leg you will decrease the wear of the knees just like a car tire if accurately aligned using a computer will wear more evenly.”
The handheld device is a burr, or cutting tool, that can cut the surface of bone or drill holes in the bone. “If you try to cut the bone in an area where that’s not supposed to be done, it instantly shuts itself off,” he said.
This isn’t the first time Mather has used state-of-the-art technology to more accurately perform total knee replacements. “Mather has always been at the forefront of navigation, computer-assisted, and robotic surgery,” said Michael Fracchia, MD, Director of the Department of Orthopaedics. “This has come about because of the support of the administration, staff, and physicians who have dedicated and volunteered their time to enhance and improve this technology.”
Dr. Fracchia said the newest robotic-assisted device allows for smaller incisions with less or no cutting of muscle. Unlike other technologies, there’s no pre-operative CT scan. This saves radiation exposure, time, and money. “Faster recovery and earlier return to work, as well as shorter hospital stays are now becoming routine. Same day surgery is now possible with hip and knee replacement surgery.” Fracchia said that new studies have shown that computer-assisted knee surgery has reduced that need for revision surgery, especially for younger patients.
“I’m not even using a cane anymore,” Mullens said in mid-August, just a month after undergoing the robotic-assisted knee replacement. “I stopped using a cane and a walker faster than last time with the other knee. My strength came back in one day in the right leg. It was amazing to me that I could stand on it.”