Fresno home to new, high tech surgery

February 28, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Recovery from knee surgery is usually a painful process which keeps patients off their feet. But a Fresno woman made medical history with her first steps after surgery.

Maria Leticia is thrilled to be able to walk pain free again. Two weeks ago she had partial knee replacement surgery. X-rays showed arthritis was affecting her left knee.

Leticia explained, "I couldn't walk. It was just very, very bad. I couldn't bend it. I just had to limp most of the time. It was excruciating pain."

Dr. Kevin Lester of Community Regional Medical Center was the first orthopedic surgeon in the US to use the NavioPFS system by Blue Belt Technologies.

Dr. Lester used a device with a burr at the end for precision cutting.

"The camera sees it, processes it through the computer and as I touch the bone it removes the bone we want to remove and if we move a millimeter outside that desired picture it stops," said Dr. Lester.

Leticia was the first patient to undergo the procedure. She said, "And I walked right away. Hours from the surgery I was walking already. Did that surprise you? Totally, yes."

An x-ray showed the portion of Leticia's knee which had been replaced. Leticia said, "It was amazing how different it is because the bones were right on top of each other. You can see how they lifted it."

Dr. Lester can watch his work closely on a monitor. He said, "The most important thing about the device is not only did it plan it exactly the way we wanted it but the robot executed exactly as we wanted it."

Leticia is making progress with every step and soon she'll be back on a bicycle.


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