Now’s the time to consider a partial or total knee replacement

If you are considering a partial or total knee replacement, arguably you could not have picked a better time to get one.

Dr. Matthew Hummel of OrthoCincy just this year joined an exclusive group of physicians performing robotic-arm assisted total knee replacement surgery, which offers a host of benefits to patients.

Dr. Hummel will share his experience with the procedure at the next installment of the Living Without Limits lecture series presented by the Orthopedic Institute at St. Elizabeth Healthcare, a partnership among St. Elizabeth Healthcare, St. Elizabeth Physicians and OrthoCincy.

“Living Without Limits: Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Knee Replacement” will be presented from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 27 at the Total Joint Center, 7th floor at St. Elizabeth Edgewood, 1 Medical Village Drive.

The free program begins with registration and light refreshments, followed by Dr. Hummel’s presentation and an audience question-and-answer session.

Robotic-arm assisted knee replacement provides surgeons with superior tools, Dr. Hummel told SmartHealthToday earlier this year.

“I keep going back to this analogy: I can measure and cut boards to build my house and they’ll be just fine. Or I can use a laser-guided miter saw and make them perfect,” he said. “The surgeon is still doing the work. This is just another tool for the surgeon.”

A 2012 study of traditional knee replacement vs. robotic-arm assisted knee replacement pointed to the promise of increased precision. The study, authored by South Korean doctors and published in the journal Computer Assisted Surgery, found that “in particular, the robot-assisted technique showed better accuracy in femoral rotational alignment compared to the conventional surgery, despite the fact that the (two) surgeons who performed the operations were more experienced and familiar with the conventional method than with robot-assisted surgery.”

More precise alignment reduces wear on the joint and helps keep it from loosening. And the robotic-arm procedure is less invasive and less disruptive to surrounding tissue, Dr. Hummel said, helping patients recover more quickly.

“It’s more efficient, safer surgery,” he said.

Robotic-arm assisted surgery continues to be used for partial knee replacements as well. In a partial replacement, only the arthritic portion of the joint is affected, preserving the anterior cruciate and posterior cruciate ligaments. But most knee-replacement candidates need the whole joint replaced, which is why robotic-arm assisted technology is a welcome breakthrough for many.

Living Without Limits: Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Knee Replacement is free, but because space is limited, reservations are required. To register, visit stelizabeth.com/livingwithoutlimits.