Diagnosis: Knee Pain - Osteoarthritis
Treatment: MAKOplasty partial knee replacement
When David Bartos was troubled by painful knees, he turned to his primary care provider for help.
Dr. Robert Kelly of Totem Lake Family Medicine knew who to refer Bartos to – orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Angelo of the Evergreen Orthopedic Clinic.
Dr. Angelo has been named one of 125 Outstanding Knee Surgeons in America by Becker’s Orthopedic, Spine and Pain Management Review.
Dr. Angelo treated the osteoarthritis and degeneration in Bartos’ knees with a conservative, non-operative treatment plan that managed his pain.
But over time the pain became debilitating, and last fall both knew it was time for surgery.
“I’d planned on having a minimally invasive knee replacement,” Bartos recalls, “but then Dr. Angelo said I’d be a candidate for a new procedure called a MAKOplasty®.”
MAKOplasty is a minimally invasive partial knee replacement designed to help alleviate knee pain and return people to their activities.
“It uses a surgeon-actuated robotic arm to prepare the bones of the knee joint for new bearing surfaces while sparing the healthy bone and surrounding ligaments,” Dr. Angelo explains. “It’s a treatment option for adults living with osteoarthritis on the inside, outside, or front compartments of the knee.”
While partial knee replacement surgery has been around for years, Dr. Angelo says MAKOplasty offers some distinct advantages, particularly in the area of surgical precision.
“Thanks to the sophisticated software, the surgeon is able to do a 3D rehearsal of the surgery,” he explains. “The ability to fine tune is incredible and especially helpful.”
Another benefit is that the computer and the robotic arm are essentially linked to the patient’s leg via transmitters – allowing the surgeon to make further refinements before any bone is cut.
“MAKOplasty takes advantage of what are essentially tiny GPS units attached to the patient’s thigh and lower leg bone,” Dr. Angelo continues. “The computer knows to within 1 millimeter exactly where the knee is in space. This allows us a complete picture.”
Finally, once the coordinates as far as size, position and other components for the surgery have been locked in, the robot will not allow the doctor to remove bone outside of those exact specifications.
“The precision is remarkable,” Dr. Angelo says, “and can result in more natural knee motion following surgery.”
David Bartos wasn’t looking to be a pioneer, but the surgery on his left knee in November 2011 was the first MAKOplasty performed at EvergreenHealth.
As with any minimally invasive surgery, smaller incisions result in less impact to normal tissues and often lead to quicker recovery time.
Bartos went home two days after his surgery. Four weeks later, he was able to resume his busy cross-country travel schedule for work.
Looking ahead, he knows a partial replacement of his right knee is in his future, and he knows where he’ll be headed.
“I’m pleased with EvergreenHealth and very pleased with Dr. Angelo. When it’s time to do my other knee, I’ll be back!”