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Experience Counts: Talking Mako™ Robotic-Arm-Assisted Surgery with Dr. Derek Farr

Doctor with robotic technology

Using Mako™ technology, Dr. Derek Farr of Twin Palm Orthopedics treats his patients’ osteoarthritis with unparalleled surgical accuracy and effectiveness.

Osteoarthritis is the wearing out of the bone surfaces in synovial joints like knees, hips and shoulders. These joints are lined with articular cartilage, and as it wears down, it becomes pitted, cracked and rough. This results in bone-on-bone contact and can lead to deformities like bowing in the bones, stiffness and trouble doing normal activities or spending time on beloved hobbies. Doctors first try treatment methods such as ice, anti-inflammatory medications, bracing, electrical stimulation, injection therapy and pain medication. If these modalities fail to work for patients, surgery becomes the best option to improve quality of life. The best possible surgery means using the Mako™ robotic-arm-assisted surgery system, especially when the patient does not need a complete knee replacement.

“Study after study shows that up to 65 percent of patients who receive total knee replacements only have arthritis in one or two of the three compartments of the knee. Which means that many people do not require a total knee replacement but do require a partial knee replacement,” says Dr. Derek Farr, board-certified orthopedic surgeon at Twin Palm Orthopedics. “Not a lot of surgeons are doing partial knee replacements due to the traditionally higher failure rate and because they are technically more difficult for the surgeon. However, that is what the Mako™ offers: the ability to perform a partial knee replacement with precision and much greater technical success.”

No two patients are exactly alike, and neither are their joints. A specialized CT scans allows Dr. Farr to create a 3-D model of each patient’s unique hip or knee joint. Then, he can virtually place the implant on the joint and fine tune its placement so that he can determine how the joint will respond before surgery even begins.

“It’s similar to standing on the tee box in golf and knowing you will hit a hole in one before you tee off. I know ahead of time how the patient’s knee will respond and can anticipate the outcome of the procedure before the patient enters the operating room,” Dr. Farr says.

Once the 3-D modeling and virtual placement is complete and surgery begins, the Mako™ roboticarm- assisted surgery system provides innumerable benefits to patients. Firstly, there is only a small three to three-and-a-half-inch incision required. Secondly, the procedure only takes approximately 30 minutes or less. Lastly, “The Mako™ system sculpts the worn cartilage just enough so I can place the implant precisely. The robotic arm will not allow a surgeon to remove too much cartilage or bone, so there are a lot of checks and balances. It limits any collateral damage or excessive bone loss and decreases the risk of a fracture,” says Dr. Farr. It allows the surgeon to place implants in the hip and knee more precisely. This is very important, as the more precisely an implant is placed, the longer the implant will last, which results in a better outcome and greater patient satisfaction.

Mako™ partial knee replacement procedures are less invasive and less painful than traditional methods. Patients benefit, as they require less recovery time with discharge to home often the same day.

Board certified and fellowship trained in sports orthopedics, Dr. Farr has vast experience treating complex joint conditions. If you or a loved one has exhausted nonsurgical methods to remedy your osteoarthritis, make an appointment with Dr. Farr of Twin Palm Orthopedics today. Demand the latest and most innovative treatment in orthopedic care.

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