WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) Medical care has come a long way since the horse and buggy days in Wichita Falls. It’s become more advanced with digital processing, interactive scoping, and robotic assistance. Even the X-Rays have gotten a technological boost.
Orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Michael Sheen says in his 35 years of working at United Regional, there have been a lot of technical advancements, and it begins with a million dollar machine called the Mako which is exclusively used for hip and knee repair.
“The engineers at a company called Mako were able to put together a couple of computer programs that really helped us figure out how to balance and do accurate cuts,” said Dr. Sheen. “Using an infrared system, we can actually take a picture of the patient’s anatomy, translate that to how we should do the cuts to put joint replacements, prosthetics into the patients.”
With the help of the Stryker navigation system and the use of 3D printing, these hip and knee replacements are custom made for each patient’s body for a longer-lasting result.
Dr. Sheen says, “In the future you can take somebody, do their anatomy and make a prosthetic that then got sent and was just specifically for them, put it in and last 30 years, maybe 40.”
Someone familiar with the Mako operations is Dr. Joshua Schacter, whose performed 200 joint replacement surgeries in the last year using the robot and says this new tech helps prevent the worst from happening.
“One of the things that causes problems long term in joint replacement surgery is how the joint’s put in,” said Dr. Schacter. “If the joint is not put in good alignment, it can cause serious problems down the road and the joint can wear out early.”
Dr. Schacter says in order for them to alleviate this problem altogether, they use computer navigation systems and techniques to help with alignment accuracy. The most recent technology to help them is the Mako robot.
For more on how the Mako robot performs during total hip or knee replacement surgery and post-op care, click here .
There’s a reason why United Regional was able to acquire such an advanced system like the Mako. “We are the smallest hospital in Texas to receive an advanced certification for hip and knee placement excellence, and that is a certification that’s given by our hospital governing body. It’s very difficult to achieve and it’s based and centered around quality patient care,” said Dr. Schacter.
So for the hospital and for the patients in our community, the future is bright.