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Robotic arm aids surgeons at South County Hospital

January 21, 2011

Photo By Shaun Kirby Pictured above, left to right: Drs. Mark Coppes, Robert Marchand, Michael Bradley, and David Burns at South County Hospital on Wednesday night.

WAKEFIELD–South County Hospital, already in the forefront of implementing new and innovative surgical technologies, is adding MAKOplasty, a procedure treating osteoarthritis in middle age and older patients, to its repertoire.

Patients who suffer from early to mid-stage osteoarthritis in their knees frequently live with discomfort and sometimes significant pain, unable to participate in daily activities which require sustained physical exertion. The traditional method for treating osteoarthritis calls for total knee replacement, often a more invasive and traumatic procedure. Speaking Wednesday evening to an invited public, Dr. Mark Coppes and Dr. Robert Marchand of the orthopedic surgery unit at South County Hospital offered a better solution.

The MAKOplasty procedure begins with a pre-surgical, three-dimensional CT scan of the diseased areas in the knee. The computer generated image of the knee is then uploaded to the RIO, or Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic System. Once a small incision in the skin above the knee has been made, the surgeon consults the three dimensional image and uses the robotic arm to resurface the affected area. An anatomically fitted implant, more durable than previous models, is then fastened to the knee.

“The big key about it is the precision you see in the surgery,” said Dr. Mark Coppes, noting that the MAKOplasty procedure is exact to a matter of millimeters. Such precision allows the operating physician to adjust the resurfacing plane according to real time visual updates from the CT scan images.

For more information pick up a copy of The Narragansett Times.

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