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Mansfield News Journal: Robotic-Arm Technology Improves Orthopedic Surgeries

OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital’s newest addition to the team, a robot named Mako, is reducing recovery times and enhancing surgical precision for joint replacement patients.

Mako is a unique, robotic arm-assisted technology used for hip, total knee and joint replacement surgeries. Mansfield Hospital is the region’s first hospital to implement this technology. Over the past year, the robot has helped with over 700 procedures, operating as an extra set of hands for physicians like Matthew Bernhard, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Mansfield Hospital.

"The robot takes the guesswork out of what we're doing," Dr. Bernhard told Mansfield News Journal reporter Zach Tuggle. "It gives us precise alignment."

Though joint replacements started to become more common in the 1960s, the technology and instruments used to carry out the procedures haven’t been updated since the 1990s. New gadgets like Mako are leading to safer and more accurate procedures.

So far, Mansfield Hopsital has been taking full advantage of Mako’s abilities, using the robot in almost every total joint procedure the hospital oversees. Though the procedures take about 10 minutes longer with Mako’s help, physicians can better ensure joints are lined up perfectly so that patients don't have issues walking in the future.

Although Dr. Bernhard explains that patients are still required to complete physical therapy after the surgeries, he noted that their recovery times have been reduced, and they have lower early post-operative pain, amongst other benefits.

"I'm finding with my patients that they are getting extension and flexion must faster," Bernhard said. "I'm a believer that when the knee is put in perfect alignment, it will last longer. That's the goal."

Mansfield Hospital is also the region’s only hospital to attain the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval for excellence in hip and knee replacement and was recently recognized by Healthgrades as one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for joint replacement.

To learn more about orthopedic services at OhioHealth, click here.

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