FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (KFSN) --More than half a million Americans will need total knee replacement this year. Now, new technology in the operating room is making it easier for both doctors and patients.
Just a few months ago, stairs were torture for Sandra Goldberg.
Goldberg told Ivanhoe that she would take a deep breath and say, "Oh my gosh I have another step to go and another, I would count the steps until I got to the top."
Goldberg suffered from painful osteoarthritis and needed a total knee replacement.
Martin Roche, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at Holy Cross Orthopedic Institute in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, detailed, "In the United States this year we'll probably do close to 650,000."
Dr. Roche said the procedure hasn't always been precise, forcing some patients to have more surgery.
"Approximately 30 to 40 percent are due to imbalance, instability, malrotation or malalignment," said Dr. Roche.
Now new technology is changing that, using the Mako Rio robotic arm system.
"Preoperatively we can place the implant specifically where it needs to go on that patient," explained Dr. Roche
Using special software, doctors use a CT scan of the patient's knee to create a 3D model.
"Then in the operating room we use the robotic arm as an extension of my hand to place it specifically and accurately every time," Dr. Roche told Ivanhoe.
That significantly reduces the need for more surgeries in the future due to alignment errors.
"Potentially these knees could last even longer than 15 to 20 years," said Dr. Roche.
Goldberg couldn't believe she was walking up and down stairs the day after her surgery.
"It was a miracle," said Goldberg.
Now finally pain free, nothing slows her down.
Dr. Roche said most patients can resume normal activity and even go back to sports like tennis and golf a few weeks after the procedure.