Robotic technology moves orthopedic surgeries into future

Robotic technology moves orthopedic surgeries into future

(KPLC) - It is not science fiction: it is real life medical technology meeting real patients, with the use of robots in operating rooms.  Two orthopedic surgeries are now available for the first time in Southwest Louisiana with a level of precision humans alone cannot offer.

RIO (Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic System) is changing the way total hip and partial knee replacements are done.  

CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital orthopedic surgeon, Dr. John Noble, explains this robotic arm is integrated with intelligent surgical instruments and linked with a pre-op surgical plan that is specific to a patient's unique joints, through CT scans and 3D viewing.

"We can determine the precise amount of leg length, the amount of off-set and that helps us determine how a patient's leg feels after surgery," said Dr. Noble.

Carol Hedrick of Lake Charles is the first patient in this region to undergo a total hip replacement with RIO.

"It was less invasive and less downtime afterward," she said.

Two days after the hip replacement, Hedrick walked into her home on her own.  At 69 years old, she has no plans to slow down, which Dr. Noble says is perfectly fine, thanks to a more fine-tuned surgery with longer-lasting goals.    

"We know that if we put the components in the exact position, we have a much greater chance of having a lifelong hip replacement, rather than if we do something that has more variability," said Dr. Noble.

As of today, RIO is approved by the FDA for two procedures: partial knee replacements and total hip replacements, but that is expected to change in the spring of 2016.

"A total knee replacement will be available, we believe, in March of 2016," said Dr. Noble.  "It has just been approved by the FDA and so we think that will dramatically change things and we believe that in five years, almost all joint replacements will probably be done using robotics."

Dr. Noble says 99 other applications are being looked at today with RIO.

Hedrick says she is excited to be one of the firsts to experience the future of orthopedic surgeries.

"I feel like a new person and I am ready to start, within the next couple of weeks, all of the activities I did before the surgery," she said.

The RIO system was developed by Stryker Orthopaedics.    

CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital and Center for Orthopaedics are hosting a free hip and knee pain seminar, featuring information on RIO.  It is set for Tuesday, November 17 at 5:30 P.M. at 1747 Imperial Boulevard in Lake Charles.

Reserve your seat by calling 337-491-7577 or by clicking here.

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