- February 07, 2018
So just a little bit about how many robotic procedures have done. Well, there’s been 60,000 Mako robotic procedures up until 2015. This was partial knee replacements and a hip replacements. The full knee replacement has not been available to the public, and I believe it was released in March of 2017. So these are all partial knee replacements and hip replacements at that time. But these numbers are really expected to just start really increasing over the next several years. So I think the benefit of this is that it’s a guide. It’s a, it’s a helpful tool to complete the surgery and I believe to get it more of a perfect replacement, that’s our goal, to try to get that.
A couple of things that Mako does not do okay. It does not perform the surgery. The surgeon does that. It does not make its own decisions on how to and where to resect the bone or sizing of components. We do that and it doesn’t move in any way unless I actually hit the button or cause it to move. So it does not do the surgery by itself and we sit over in the corner and have a coffee and a donut or something. It just doesn’t happen like that. So we are in complete control of the whole process and the procedure. So that’s pretty much the robotic part of it. Some of a couple of questions that we often get again after, or if a patient is indicated for a procedure, can I have an allergy to a replacement? Is it heavy? Would it set off a metal detector? Well, patients that have nickel allergies, there is a small component of nickel in a replacement.
You have to discuss that with your physician. Um, and, and there’s, you know, personalized plans, different types of implants that are amenable to patients that have metal or nickel allergies. Is the implant heavy? No, it’s not, it’s not very heavy. A pound or two on a primary knee replacement. Not, not very heavy at all. It does not change a patient’s weight once they have it. And will it set off the metal detectors? Well, certainly it could. Sometimes it doesn’t. It depends on what type of detector you’re going through. Which airport you, it’s just totally variable. We provide index business cards saying you had a joint replacement but it does not prevent you from going through. You just have to communicate with the TSA agent or whoever metal detector you’re going through you that you have a joint replacement. And they’ll just, uh, you know, do the necessary steps that they need to do.
So when, when can a patient drive? Okay, so this is, this is a very, very common question that we get after a knee replacement. Well, supposed to drive your right leg. If you have a right leg, right knee surgery, we encourage patients to wait four to six weeks, probably closer to the six-week mark. They all say they can do it early, but it really puts the patients at risk if you’re not strong enough or have the appropriate set of ability to move from the gas to the brake in emergency situations. If you’re the only one on the road, I usually tell my patients you’d probably be able to drive. But the problem is is that you’re not the only one on the road. And if you have to stop suddenly or really jam on the brake, uh, you’re not going to have the power and the strength to do that early on. You have to wait until you have adequate therapy to get to that point. And we usually see it’s around that four to six week mark. Patients that have left sided surgery are a little bit sooner because it’s not their driving leg. So if you’ve got to work with your physician regarding that, and really it’s just a safety thing. So recovery knee replacement is most, one of the most important things. Control the swelling, work on your range of motion and physical therapy. If you don’t do those things, the results are not going to be good. No matter we use robot navigation, specialized implant, anything like that. Therapy is just crucial in the whole process. And what, what do we tell patients can do? So this is really, what did they do before? What did they want to do? I mean short of running marathons; however, we do have a patient that does run marathons, but this is not very common. But walking, swimming, golfing, light hiking, biking, you know, tennis, all that kind of stuff. Lower impact sports. But again, if the patient is used to doing an activity and their body’s used to it and their strength is good, they very likely could return to doing that activity. So we try not to really limit patients completely as far as you know, what kind of activity they want to do after they’ve had this procedure.