Rich DeMuro

10:27 a.m. CST, January 23, 2012
Nearly 300,000 hip replacement surgeries are performed in the U.S. every year, and some of those patients have to head back into the operating room due to complications. But now, robotic 3D technology is making the process more reliable.

This high-tech procedure was recently approved for use in the U.S. It uses a robotic arm to help surgeons get a more accurate alignment of the replacement hip every time.

One couple shared their experience when it came time for a hip replacement.

Diane and Gene Arnold wanted the best tech possible when going into surgery and were confident in the procedure.

“I was all for it. Anything to ensure the success of a hip replacement, I didn’t want any complications,” said Gene.

The Arnold’s heard plenty of hip replacement horror stories of routine surgeries that fail due to improper placement of an artificial hip. Then they heard about a new robotic-assisted surgery being done at the Good Samaritan hospital in Los Angeles.

“We try to do a perfect job every time but, being human we don’t,” Dr. Dorr of Good Samaritan hospital said about the complicated procedure. “And these errors range anywhere from 10 percent to 15 percent, the margin of error with the robot is about 5 percent.”

Dorr, who helped design the system, calls it the “Mako Total Hip Arthroplasty”. It uses a robotic arm and 3D imaging for a precise, custom fit.

The new technology worked wonders for the couple. Diane and Gene were back to normal with activities and work just two weeks after the surgery–all thanks to the high-tech help of a steady hand.

“There’s a lot of anxiety about going in and getting a hip replacement you know,” Gene said. “And after going through it, people don’t need to be as scared as they are.”

While the system is new for hip-replacements, doctors have been using a similar robotic arm to help them with knee surgeries for about five years now.

To check if the MAKO Surgical System is available near you, check here:


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