Swedish Adds Robotic Arm System for Knee Surgery; Free Public Seminar Scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 2

Swedish Adds Robotic Arm System for Knee Surgery; Free Public Seminar Scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 28

SEATTLE, Oct. 13, 2010 – The Swedish Orthopedic Institute (SOI) at Swedish Medical Center/First Hill will soon be the first facility in the Puget Sound area to perform MAKOplasty®, a new partial knee resurfacing procedure designed to treat early- to mid-stage osteoarthritis (OA). It can potentially provide quicker rehabilitation and more natural knee motion after surgery.

Millions of Americans suffer from OA and a large percentage of them are diagnosed when the disease is in the early stages. For many people with chronic knee pain, MAKOplasty could be a viable alternative to total knee replacement or traditional manual partial knee resurfacing.  Patients can experience minimal blood loss and have smaller surgical incisions, plus they may have shorter hospital stays and quicker recovery.  Many return to an active lifestyle within weeks of the procedure.

“Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and a leading cause of disability worldwide,” said SOI orthopedic surgeon Sean Toomey, M.D. “This technology allows us to treat patients with knee osteoarthritis sooner and with much greater precision.”

Good candidates for MAKOplasty typically have three common characteristics: knee pain with activity on the inner knee, under the kneecap or the outer knee; pain or stiffness when starting from a sitting position; and failure to respond to non-surgical treatments or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication.

Swedish will hold a free community education session on joint replacement, including MAKOplasty, on Thursday, Oct. 28 at 6 p.m. at the Swedish Orthopedic Institute (601 Broadway, Seattle). To register for this class, call 206-386-2502. For more information on the Swedish Joint Replacement Program, contact the program coordinator at 206-215-9145 or visit www.swedish.org/orthopedics.

MAKOplasty is powered by the RIO® Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic system, developed by MAKO Surgical Corp., which features a tactile robotic arm and a 3-D visualization system. In surgery, only the diseased portion of the knee is resurfaced, sparing the patient’s healthy bone and surrounding tissue. An implant is secured in the joint to allow the knee to move smoothly again.

The system develops a pre-surgical plan that details the technique for bone preparation and customized implant positioning based on a CT scan of the patient’s knee. During the procedure, the system creates a live 3-D virtual view of the bone surface and correlates it to the pre-programmed surgical plan.

“The robotic arm provides real-time tactile, auditory and visual feedback,” said SOI’s James Crutcher, M.D. “This helps surgeons accurately balance the knee and correctly position the implants.”

The time required for a MAKOplasty procedure and the cost are comparable to traditional partial knee replacement. It is covered by most Medicare-approved plans and private health insurers. 

Opened in 2008, the Swedish Orthopedic Institute was the first dedicated facility of its kind in the Northwest and today is one of the largest in the United States. SOI expects to do up to 200 MAKOplasty procedures a year. Patients will come from throughout Western Washington and beyond.

About Swedish

Established in 1910, Swedish has grown over the last 100 years to become the largest, most comprehensive non-profit health provider in the Greater Seattle area with 8,500 employees, 3,000-physicians and 1,200-volunteers. It is comprised of four hospital campuses – First Hill, Cherry Hill, Ballard and Edmonds – a freestanding emergency department and ambulatory care center in Issaquah, Swedish Visiting Nurse Services, and the Swedish Physician Division – a network of more than 40 primary-care and specialty clinics located throughout the Puget Sound area. In fall 2009, Swedish broke ground on a new medical office building and hospital in the Issaquah Highlands, as well as an emergency department and medical office building in Ballard. More recently, Swedish announced plans to open freestanding emergency department and ambulatory care center facilities in Mill Creek and Redmond. In addition to general medical and surgical care, Swedish is known as a regional referral center, providing specialized treatment in areas such as cardiovascular care, cancer care, neuroscience, orthopedics, high-risk obstetrics, pediatric specialties, organ transplantation and clinical research. For more information, visit www.swedish.org and www.swedish100.org.

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