STUART, FL -- A surgeons hands are his or her most important tools. But more often these days, doctors are getting a helping hand from robotic arms.
Avis Voorhees just had knee surgery.
"It got to the point where i wasn't able to walk around the block," she said.
But the 80 year-old Stuart woman was out of the hospital the next day and hasn't relied as heavily on her cane.
"I feel terrific," she beamed.
Voorhees was the first patient to get a partial knee replacement at Martin Memorial Hospital through a new minimally invasive procedure called Makoplasty.
Dr. Scott Desman is the orthopedic surgeon. The new technology allows him to perform virtual surgery before he ever steps into the operating room with a 3-D look at the patient's knee. Once the incision and knee implant sites are marked, a robotic arm is called in.
"The robotic arm comes in and the surgeon controls movement of the arm and the "on-off" of the arm," said Dr. Desman.
On a computer screen you can see the green coloring is the part of the bone the doctor is removing. The computer allows him to work in that space and he won't cut too deep or cut outside of that area. Dr. Desman says the precision here is unlike anything he's ever seen before and for qualified patients, a partial knee replacement means a faster recovery.
"You also are able to have a more natural feeling knee because you retain the ligaments and the rest of the knee is left undisturbed," said Dr. Desman.
Martin Memorial is the only hospital in the area offering this new procedure that has given Avis Voorhees hope she'll be back out on the golf course in a few weeks.
Copyright 2010 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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