Mercy Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Marc Hungerford first in Maryland to Perform MAKOplasty Knee Resurfacing for Knee Osteoarthritis
Mercy orthopedic surgeon Dr. Marc Hungerford performing a MAKOplasty for knee osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis of the knee is a debilitating disease that breaks down the cushion-like cartilage in the joint, and it can be painful. Osteoarthritis sufferers in the mid-stages of the disease can get relief from a new robotic procedure that can replace part of the knee.
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Marc Hungerford, Director of Joint Replacement and Reconstruction at Mercy, said the new procedure is called MAKOplasty using the RIO Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic System.
"Essentially, what we are doing is we are replacing the worn, damaged and missing cartilage with an implant made out of metal and plastic," he said. "You can think about it like capping a tooth. The basic structure of the knee remains — most of the bone, the ligaments, the skin, the nerves, the muscles — and what we're doing is we're putting a new bearing surface on the damaged part of the knee."
Doctors perform MAKOplasty using a robotic arm that contains a three-dimensional model of the patient's knee. Using that information, the RIO robot resurfaces the diseased area of the knee and replaces it with implants.
Sue Bartholomew had osteoarthritis in her right knee and said it wasn't much of a problem until a few years ago.
"In the beginning, it just was an ache and, pretty soon, it got to where it was a sharper pain. I also just couldn't walk normally. I would limp," she said.
When traditional treatments didn't help, Bartholomew consulted with Dr. Hungerford. They decided to go with MAKOplasty.
Bartholomew spent two days in the hospital and, just two weeks later, with the help of physical therapy, she was walking without a cane. She plans to go back to work in September.
"It's just so much better. I can go up and down the stairs without hanging on for dear life, and it's just really good," she said.
According to Dr. Hungerford, if a patient's insurance covers partial knee replacement, it should cover the robotic MAKOplasty procedure.
Founded in 1874, Mercy Medical Center is a university-affiliated medical facility named one of the top 100 hospitals in the U.S. by Thomson-Reuters with a national reputation for women’s health. Mercy is home to the nationally acclaimed Weinberg Center for Women’s Health and Medicine as well as the $400+ million, 20-story Mary Catherine Bunting Center. For more information visit Mercy online at www.mdmercy.com, Facebook, Twitter or call 1-800-MD-MERCY.