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Health First | Robot knee surgery speeds recovery

Health First | Robot knee surgery speeds recovery

If you have knee pain, you know how it limits the things you can do.

Surgeons at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital are now using a state-of-the-art surgical system to perform robotic-assisted knee replacement surgery.

The first robotic device of its kind to be used in Luzerne and Lackawanna County is in service at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.

Late last year, Commonwealth Health’s Dr. Mike Raklewicz performed the first total knee replacement surgery using a robot called the Navio system.

“The Navio system we map the knee with the instrument and the computer stores the knowledge and then I make the decisions with the computer as to the cuts,” said Dr. Mike Raklewicz, Chief of Orthopedic Surgery at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.

Working as partners, Dr. Raklewicz and the robot can achieve greater precision and accuracy than a skilled surgeon alone.

This type of system is unique because it does not require a CT scan before surgery, which spares the patient of additional radiation and saves money.

Instead, the computer helps the surgeon build a 3-dimensional model of the patient’s knee and guides the cuts based on that model.

"I think a well-aligned knee has a better chance of not wearing out than a non-well-aligned knee. It has to do with wear of surfaces. If you have even wear, that's good. If you have un-even wear, that's bad. I think you have a better chance of even wear with a computer and robotics system," said Dr. Raklewicz.

Being able to create those even surfaces, ultimately, leads to better outcomes for patients who require total or partial knee replacement.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Navio robotic system, Commonwealth Health is offering a free seminar Thursday, May 17th at 5:30 pm at the Pittston Memorial Library.

You can call 570-553-7496 to reserve your seat.

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