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Robotic Technology can Provide Knee Restoration

May 4, 2017

Joint RepairMany people in Detroit work in the auto industry, where the management directive is “continuous improvement.” When it comes to healing people and saving lives, continuous improvement is mandatory and the Detroit Medical Center lives and breathes it every day. Exhibit I: The Mako robotic arm for knee replacements.

“We do thousands and thousands of knee replacements at the DMC,” said Dr. Hussein Darwiche, central campus chief of joint replacement. “We’re very experienced at it but we strive every year – every day – to achieve perfection. This new technology delivers accuracy that’s almost beyond what the human eye can see and the human hand can achieve on its own.”

The Mako device assembles and analyzes the data collected from a cat scan of the knee. It evaluates the patient’s bone structure and geometry and determines the best angle and technique to attach the new knee, with hair breadth accuracy. It then guides the surgeon to achieve that ideal configuration.

“This technology has only been available for a few months,” Darwiche said.

Even without Mako technology, Martha Wojciechowski, 60, was ready for a new knee. Years of working in retail, standing on concrete floors, had aggravated her arthritis.

“It was bad,” she said. “My knees were locking up, especially the left one. I’d be standing there doing dishes and it would just lock up and I’d have to wait a few minutes to move it. You could hear it cracking when I bent it -- bone on bone.”

Her primary care physician referred her to doctor Darwiche, who introduced her to the Mako technology. She had the procedure on January 20. With physical therapy she’s made steady progress. One month later, she’s back driving her car.

“The DMC has adopted many technologies that can give patients the quickest recovery and long lasting knees,” Darwiche said. “You have to be willing to improve on outcomes that are already good. You can’t hold anything back when it comes to investing in patient care. The Mako technology demonstrates our commitment to those principles.”

To learn more about this technology, visit www.dmc.org. To schedule an appointment with a Dr. Darwiche or one of our other orthopedic physicians or attend a free seminar, call 1-888-DMC-2500.

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