Like most people who’ve had a hip or knee replacement—which replaces an arthritic or damaged joint with an artificial implant—60-year-old Walt Renton will tell you that he feels more mobile than he has in years.
Before Mr. Renton had the knee surgery, just walking up a flight of stairs was painful. Now he can walk up and down hills, chase horses, and get out and about and it doesn’t hurt. In Mr. Renton’s case, as in many cases, replacing a knee or hip—especially using the latest techniques and technologies—can restore the ability to get up and go.
“Recent improvements in technology and surgical techniques have given us the ability to perform these kinds of procedures much more effectively,” says David J. Peterson, DO, orthopedic knee and hip replacement specialist at Bingham Memorial’s Orthopedic Institute.
Bingham Memorial Hospital (BMH) is now the first hospital in Eastern Idaho to offer knee and hip surgeries with Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery System. This latest advancement in joint replacement surgery transforms the way knee & hip reconstruction is performed.
“Mako robotic-arm assisted surgery is changing the way joint replacement procedures are performed by providing each patient with a personalized surgical experience based on their specific diagnosis and anatomy,” says Dr. Peterson. “Using a virtual 3D model, the Mako System allows surgeons to create each patient’s surgical plan pre-operatively, before the patient even enters the operating room. During surgery, the surgeon can validate that plan and make any necessary adjustments while guiding the robotic-arm to execute the procedure exactly as planned. It’s exciting to be able to offer this transformative technology to perform knee and hip replacements to the patients of Eastern Idaho.”
Some of the other latest advances include:
Sensors are placed on the patient’s body and a computer assists with navigation so the surgeon can place the implant with greater accuracy and precision.
“Using minimally-invasive surgical techniques today involves much smaller incisions, causing less muscle injury and soft tissue damage, leading to a faster recovery,” says Dr. Peterson.
Many of the advances in joint replacement result from the materials used to create the artificial joints. For example, hip replacements can be performed using components made of metal, ceramic or high-tech plastic, all of which can last 20-30 years or more.
The companies that manufacture hip and knee replacement components today offer a broad range of sizes and shapes that fit almost anyone, which wasn’t always the case. Many women used to experience discomfort after knee replacement surgery—but now don’t—because standard components often were slightly too big and hung off the bone a bit, causing pain.
Better pain management and physical therapy.
Newer pain treatment options, such as nerve blocks, can help decrease the perception of pain—helping patients participate more actively in the rehabilitation needed for a complete recovery. More aggressive physical therapy also helps patients get back to regular activities, even exercise, much sooner than in the past. And, in some cases, in as little as two weeks.
And that’s not all. “We’re always looking for new treatment approaches, materials and techniques, all of which help surgeons achieve the best possible results,” Dr. Peterson says. In the early days of knee replacement, one-size-fits-all implants replicated a simple hinge. Now, more than 150 types of implants, constructed from durable materials like titanium and high-tech plastic, are made to accommodate patient characteristics and mimic the roll-and-glide motion of the joint.
New Knee or Hip, Pain-Free
Suffering from persistent knee or hip pain or both? As a leading orthopedic surgeon in Eastern Idaho, David J. Peterson, DO, specializes in arthritis and minimally invasive joint replacement for the knee and hip. He is board certified in orthopedics and fellowship trained in total knee replacement.♦
About Dr. Peterson
Dr. Peterson sees patients at Bingham Memorial’s Orthopedic Institute in Pocatello, Blackfoot, and Idaho Falls. If you have questions about your knee or hip health, or are ready to find relief from constant knee or hip pain, call (208) 782-2999 to schedule an appointment.