Seacoast surgeon trains others in use of latest technology in knee replacement

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Seacoast surgeon trains others in use of latest technology in knee replacement
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A surgeon who is training his peers says that the recent advancements in robotic technology will help patients achieve better results during total knee replacement.

Union Leader reports that Dr. Akhil Sastry, of Atlantic Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Portsmouth, was one of the first surgeons to try the Mako Total Knee with Triathlon Knee System for Stryker, one of the largest developers and manufacturers of total knee replacement systems in the world. Sastry performs total knee replacements at Portsmouth Regional Hospital and York Hospital in Maine. He commenced training of surgeons in the United States and around the globe on the use of the machine last year, when the company began selling their newest technology for total knee replacements.

“Now, 5,000 robotic assisted total knees have been performed by over 200 surgeons worldwide. The projected number of surgeons will be almost 1,000 by the end of next year,” said Sastry.

The first surgeon to use the technology was trained by Sastry in Germany, and he will be traveling to India during the last week of September to teach surgeons there how the newest Mako robot works.

Sastry said that the concept of making use of robotic in knee surgery has been available since 2006, but the satisfaction rating of patients after the operation was about 75-80 percent. But now, with the new technology, surgeons can take into account a knee’s complete range of motion when planning and performing their procedures. So, Sastry believes that this new technology will improve patients satisfaction.

“We can fine-tune the positioning of the implants to not only take account for the static positioning of the knee, but the dynamic position of the knee. So, it creates a perfect plan each and every time” Sastry said.

In Laconia, surgeon Arnold Miller says he is using the newest Mako robot for total knee replacements. Miller works at the Laconia Clinic, and performs total knee replacements at Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia. He started using robotics five years ago for partial knee replacements and hip replacements.

“I have been impressed with the results, and patients seem very happy with their outcomes," said Miller.

Dr. Jeremy Hogan who works at Advanced Orthopaedic Specialists in Gilford, also uses Mako robots during his surgeries at Lakes Region General Hospital. Hogan says using robots has enhanced his accuracy. He was introduced to the use of Mako robots seven years ago, and has been making use of them at the hospital for the past five years.

“I can measure single degrees and millimeters, which is super human, and the robot assist ensures that I carry out my patient specific plan precisely. The goal is always a ’forgotten joint’ where the patient does not notice the presence of a replacement. A patient that had a traditional total knee by me a few years ago and recently underwent a robot assisted total knee feels that the rehab process is easier this time,” Hogan said.

Stryker’s Chief Executive Officer Kevin Lobo, said in a video that was created for the Mako Total Knee with Triathlon Knee System, that the new technology is a great example of modern collaboration and innovation.

“The health care landscape is consistently evolving. Stryker is committed to partnering with our customers to bring innovative solutions for our patients,” Lobo said.

Stryker’s global headquarters are located in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Experts project that total knee replacements in the United States are expected to increase 673 percent by 2030.