UofL Health facility celebrates major milestone in robotic assisted joint replacement procedures

The technology has been used for hip and knee replacement procedures.
Published: May. 12, 2023 at 3:16 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - UofL Health - Jewish Hospital is celebrating a major milestone with new cutting-edge technology. The orthopedic team is the only team in the region to offer robotic arm-assisted technology, the Mako SmartRobotic system, for knee and hip replacement. They’re now celebrating more than 3,000 procedures. The technology has been used for hip replacement for eight years, and knee replacement for six years.

“It’s like a GPS of your knee with angles and degrees,” said Dr. Arthur Malkani, an orthopedic surgeon with UofL Health.

Dr. Malkani said the technology has made his job more satisfying because surgery can be nearly perfect. “With the boney architecture, everyone is a little different. Some of us are a little knock-kneed, some of us are bow-legged, so we’re trying to match the patient’s native bone, native anatomy,” he said. “We’re talking about precision.”

Jack Dykes is one of his patients. He was a marathon runner and Ironman before his knee gave out. Dykes said it was his routine of running across the Big Four Bridge that led him to the operating room. He tried alternatives before deciding to get the surgery at 47 years old.

“You really don’t want to have a knee replacement at 47 years old,” Dykes said. But he did. He was able to bounce back after just two weeks. That’s when he started to train for marathons again. Since then, he has competed in two 46-mile races through Disney parks.

Dykes said the surgery changed his life by giving him the chance to do everyday things again. “I had knee pain before, but just aches and pains. Aches and pains add up,” he said. “Like it’s the same thing with just standing around, walking, or running, or just standing there doing laundry. If you can’t physically stand there because it hurts too bad... you don’t know what it is until you can’t do it anymore.”

Dr. Malkani said the technology has brought patient satisfaction from 80 percent to more than 95 percent.