A doctor using a skeletal model of the human knee to explain to her patient the diagnosis of his problem.

Using a new procedure performed by Santa Rosa Orthopedic surgeons Michael McDermott, M.D., and Nathan Ehmer, D.O., joint replacement surgery advances into the future.

Santa Rosa Orthopaedics now offers a revolutionary surgical option for some joint replacement patients using the robotic assisted device called RIO Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic System. This highly advanced procedure is essentially a minimally invasive technique that reduces damage to the bone and surrounding tissue for faster recovery. The MAKO®  system is currently available primarily for partial knee replacement and is offered by both Dr. Michael McDermott and SRO’s Dr. Nathan Ehmer at Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital.

“We are excited to be able to offer joint surgery using these new devices which employ computer-aided robotics, making it possible for us, as orthopaedic surgeons, to perform more accurate installations of artificial joints. For our patients this means; reducing pain, shortening hospital stays and improving outcomes,” explains Dr. McDermott.

The MAKO robotic arm interactive system’s unique design makes it possible for a surgeon to “pre-plan” the procedure on the computer. This way, the robotic arm ensures precision in the resurfacing of the damaged portion of the joint followed by more accurate placement of artificial implants and correct tensioning of ligaments. “The robotic system offers a number of benefits particularly for knee replacement surgery. One of the primary advantages is that we require a much smaller “mini-incision” and most patients experience a much a faster recovery as a result.”

Using this innovative technology surgeons are able to perform precision surgery with the help of direct inter-operative visual, tactile and audio feedback. Essentially, the MAKO technology provides very specific information so that the surgeon can make precise adjustments to the implant placement at the time of the surgery. “This way we are able to more accurately determine the most ideal placement for the new joint specifically for each patient,” Dr. McDermott explains. “In effect, we are able to adapt the results to the patient’s own unique anatomy.”

The result is a better balanced knee, faster recovery and improved performance after healing. “This surgery may not be right for every patient or every situation, but it can help improve outcomes in partial knee cases,” Dr. McDermott said.

To learn more about MAKO or to schedule a consultation with Dr. McDermott or Dr. Ehmer call 707-546-1922 or visit www.srortho.com.