Stryker Mako Robototic Machine to Work Side-By-Side with the Hutch Regional Physicians and Staff to Assist with Orthopedic Procedures

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Tue, January 29, 2019 -- Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System

Hutchinson Regional Medical Center will soon open an Orthopedic Center of Excellence to enhance the treatment of orthopedic patients. Included in the innovations is the addition of a Stryker Mako Robotic machine to coincide with the renovation of a unit on the hospital’s third floor to prepare for treating an increased number of patients awaiting hip and knee replacements.

The human body is an amazing machine. As with all machines, it requires care and maintenance to achieve longevity. Often the most used and abused parts of our bodies are our hip and knee joints.

More than 500 Reno County residents undergo hip and knee replacement surgeries each year. Orthopedic procedures utilizing the Stryker Mako are slated to begin the first part of March. Renovation of the special orthopedics unit will be completed by August 2019.

Dr. James Lairmore has previously performed over 5,000 hip and knee procedures as a physician and calls the Stryker Mako an “Alignment Device” that will assist in making precise cuts to produce the best possible outcomes.

Joint surgery requires two basic things, according to Dr. Lairmore: “First -- a painless long lasting joint surface provided by the implants. And second -- an alignment that places the hip, knee and ankle joint in a weight bearing line.”

And while this sounds simple, a knee requires correct femoral valgus angle, rotation and flexion cuts, and the Tibia requires precise posterior slope and varus/valgus cuts, all while protecting important structures around the knee and doing so within the capsular constrains of the knee for perfect balance of the ligaments. The precision of all these cuts in conjunction with allowing for variances in personal anatomy is where the Stryker Mako really shines.

The use of orthopedic robotic machines is rapidly becoming the industry standard and a key differentiator in patient choice.

The process requires the use of a preoperative diagnostic CT scan to precisely map out the individual patients skeletal alignment.

The primary advantage for using an orthopedic robotic machine is to produce precise alignment for each unique patient’s joints.

“Surgeries are performed based on the patient’s unique skeletal structure which is determined by information gleaned from a CT scan. This is then processed by the Stryker Mako, and in conjunction with the surgeon and technician precise cuts are made,” Dr. Lairmore continued.

There still exists the old tale that joint replacements only last 10 years. Advancements have extended this well beyond 20 years and may exceed 30 or more in many cases.

Referrals from the patient’s primary doctor are generally not required and it is anticipated that waiting time will be three weeks or less for the new procedure.

The hospital’s third flood renovation is underway and will include the addition of a gymnasium for therapy along with exercise equipment designed to speed recovery. Hospital stays for most patients will be reduced.

Renovating this 18-room ward will allow for orthopedic patients to stay on the floor and not be mixed with medical and general surgery patients on other floors.

Patients will be engaged in the process to draw up a plan for recovery and establish specific goals and milestones to speed the process.

Patients will literally start their recovery prior to surgery through the Enhanced Recovery After Service (ERAS) program. As a lead up to the procedure, the patient has a one-on-one meeting with the surgeon, nurses, anesthesiologist, and a dietitian to establish a pre-operative plan which includes, among other things, an increase in activity such as walking. Patients are allowed to consume clear fluids to within two hours of surgery. In some instances, the surgery is performed with a spinal so patients can recover in a painless, comfortable environment. Unlike most medical procedures, the patient is allowed to consume food items to within a few hours of the surgery.

The new and enhanced orthopedic unit at Hutchinson Regional Medical Center will be equal to any in Kansas, adding to the many improvements made to the hospital over the last few years. There are also many more initiatives planned, all designed to provide you the best hometown healthcare possible.