For the first time in Africa, knee replacement surgery has been successfully performed using the state-of-the-art Mako robotic arm surgery system. It was performed by Dr. Chris McCready, an orthopedic surgeon at the Netcare Linksfield Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Speaking about the technology, Dr. McCready says, “There is no national register for local total knee replacements currently, but with an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 total knee replacements taking place in South Africa each year, this technology could signal a new era in personalized joint replacement.”
Before this technology, data of the patient’s knee is collected from a Computed Tomography (CT) scan. A three-dimensional pre-operative plan is developed for the procedure. The robotic arm system is used to determine the dimensions for the surgical procedures so that the best-sized knee implant can be used for the operation.
The robotic arm provides visual, auditory and demonstrative information for the surgeon. This is used to enhance precision in the positioning and alignment of the knee implant. The pre-surgical plan serves as a safeguard for the surgeon to prevent damage to critical tendons and tissues within the knee cap.
In general, the robotic arm ensures better balance, a more natural post-surgery feel, less pain and faster recovery time for the patient. The advanced medical technology makes the knee surgery procedure more efficient, especially for patients in need of total replacement in South Africa. The robotic arm surgery system is used in Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
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