SCOTTSDALE (3TV/CBS 5) -- As we age, many of us have trouble with our knees and some of us will have to have total knee replacements.
Now, with new, groundbreaking technology, long gone are the days of long recovery times.
Doctor Brandon Gough at Abrazo Scottsdale is one of the only doctors nationwide doing total knee replacements with the help of a robot, while sparing the quadricep muscle and getting patients up on their feet and walking again within hours of surgery.
"Two hours after surgery, she'll be walking down the hallway. She may or may not need a walker or a cane. Her knee looks really stable. She'll be able to go up and down a flight of stairs in the same day," said Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Brandon Gough.
As part of the procedure, Dr. Gough removes damaged cartilage, resurfaces the bones and fits the prosthesis, adding a plastic spacer that allows the two parts of the prosthesis to move against each other easily and painlessly, as if the cartilage is being replaced.
This minimally invasive robotic total knee replacement is a solution to this problem and it eliminates the need to make a long (10 to 12 inch) incision through the skin on the top of the knee, plus incisions through the quadriceps tendon (which joins the large muscles of the thigh to the kneecap).
Instead, the procedure involves making much smaller incisions, usually about four to six inches long.
Because there are no cuts into the muscles around the knee, there also is less damage to the soft tissue, significantly reducing pain after the procedure, plus a much faster return of full knee function.
We met up with Phoenix resident Roberta Burleson before her surgery.
She came to Dr. Gough because she still has pain, even after injections and three arthroscopic surgeries.
"I was unable to walk to my house from the corner. That's not good. I want to be able to get out and walk around the block. Get exercise," said patient Roberta Burleson.
With older knee replacement surgeries, you're talking weeks to get up and really get walking.
Here, we're talking hours.
Among the other benefits of the procedure: It’s patient-specific.
Before the procedure, the surgeon will perform a CT scan of the knee joint, using that model to customize the joint implant instrumentation for each patient’s unique anatomy and develop a surgical plan that is tailored to the patient’s specific needs.
The pre-operative CT scan enables the surgeon to operate with greater accuracy and shape the prosthesis to fit the resurfaced bones.
There is less trauma and pain.
By combining minimally invasive surgical techniques with a robotic-assisted, custom-tailored instrumentation and surgical plan, surgeons are able to perform the operation more precisely, leading to less trauma to the soft tissues, muscles and tendons around the joint and reducing the risk of surgical and post-operative complications.
This procedure has been shown to reduce blood loss during and immediately after the surgery, shorter hospital stays, and less post-operative pain and discomfort.
Because there is less damage to the soft tissue, patients generally experience a faster recovery and rehabilitation, regaining the full range of motion allowed by the prosthesis in a shorter time frame than allowed by a traditional total knee replacement.
Shorter hospital stay and a quicker recovery.
Following a minimally invasive total robotic knee replacement, about 95 percent of patients are able to leave the hospital within one day of surgery, while some are able to leave the same day.
If you would like to reach out to Dr. Gough, you can contact his office here: http://goughmd.com/