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Could MAKOplasty® Be Right for You?

To learn more about this innovative procedure that can help you say goodbye to knee pain and get back to the things you love, click here.

Repairing the Damage

New technique for knee resurfacing leads to natural movement, quick recovery

An ornamental iron worker for more than four decades, 66-year-old retiree Bill Michelini fashioned enough stair railings and door handles to understand the importance of stability. So, when his own knee buckled—causing him to collapse—on several occasions last year, he knew it was time to see his family's longtime physician, Rodney Swan, MD, board-certified orthopedic surgeon on staff at Northwest Community Hospital.

The bad news: Osteoarthritis had ravaged the bone and tissue in the inside portion of his knee.

The good news: The top and outside portions of Bill's knee were healthy, making him an ideal candidate to become NCH's first patient to undergo MAKOplasty®, a new surgeon-controlled robotic arm procedure that preserves as much healthy tissue as possible while replacing the arthritic portion of the knee with unparalleled precision and accuracy.

A Perfect Surgery

Dr. Swan explains how it works: First, the patient undergoes a CT scan. The patient's own anatomical knee measurements are then entered into a computer and downloaded into the RIO® robotic arm system. "That information is used in surgery to make perfect anatomic cuts on the knee," he says.

The surgeon then guides the robotic arm to position the knee replacement. "The placement is perfect. It's better than you can do visually," Dr. Swan says, adding that accurate placement results in a more natural-feeling knee motion after surgery. "I don't think I'll do a manual partial knee replacement again," he says, adding that the robotic arm system amplifies a good surgeon's expertise.

Meanwhile, smaller incisions and less damage to tissue make recovery much easier for patients like Bill. "His recovery is magnitudes better than a standard knee replacement," Dr. Swan says.

In fact, Bill, who underwent MAKOplasty on Valentine's Day, had 90-degree range of motion and was able to move freely around his tri-level Elk Grove Village home just days after surgery. "From what everybody says, I'm way ahead in my recovery," says Bill, who is eager to hop back on the ATV he drives around for fun. "I'll be back in the saddle soon."

Rodney Swan, MD

Dr. Rodney Swan is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon on staff at NCH. For a list of orthopedic surgeons on staff at NCH, click here, or call HealthConnection at 847.618.4YOU (4968).

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Last Updated 04/10/2009