Mako® Robotic Joint Replacement Surgery in New Braunfels

Treating Joint Pain With Minimally Invasive Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery

A painful joint can make your movement limited, making living an active life difficult. At Resolute Baptist Hospital, we strive to get you back to your feet as soon as possible using innovative solutions such as our Mako robotic arm-assisted joint surgery. This is a minimally invasive procedure that enables surgeons to check the condition of a joint in detail and plan treatment based on the patient’s condition and needs.

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What is Joint Replacement Surgery?

Joint replacement surgery is the removal of damaged or diseased parts of a joint to be replaced with new, artificial components, prostheses or implants. Most joint replacement surgeries are performed on the hips and knees, although other joints such as the ankles, elbows, fingers and shoulders can be replaced.

If you’ve already tried different treatment options to reduce pain, such as medications and physical therapy, to no avail, your doctor may recommend joint replacement surgery.

What is Robotic Surgery?

Robotic surgery is a method wherein the surgeon uses a computer to control small surgical tools attached to a robotic arm.

How Does Robotic Surgery Work?

In robotic joint surgery, the surgeon makes small incisions on the patient’s body to insert surgical instruments. The surgeon uses an endoscope to magnify the surgery site during surgery. The robot follows the surgeon’s hand movements as he or she performs the robotic joint replacement surgery.

What is Robotic Knee Replacement Surgery?

Robotic knee surgery is an advanced surgical procedure that allows surgeons to customize a patient’s surgery plan and define the surgery area. At Resolute Baptist Hospital, we have the Mako robotic system technology to help our orthopedic surgeons in New Braunfels perform minimally invasive joint replacement surgery with improved positioning of implant components.

What is the Mako Robotic System?

The Mako robotic system is a technology that helps our orthopedic surgeons in New Braunfels at Resolute Baptist Hospital to perform joint replacement surgery with more accurate implant placement than conventional arthroplasty surgical techniques. Some studies have shown less post-surgery pain, faster recovery and lower dislocation risk with robotic-arm assisted surgery.

The surgeon-controlled Mako robotic platform for the hip and knee is just one of the ways that show Resolute Baptist Hospital’s commitment to advanced technology and enhanced patient experiences and outcomes.

How Does the Mako Robotic System Help in Joint Replacement?

The Mako robotic system does not perform the surgery. It has a robotic arm that orthopedic doctors use to guide and perform surgeries within the predefined area. It helps surgeons fit implants on the joint parts that need to be replaced. This advanced technology also allows your surgeon to adjust the surgical plan as needed during the operation.

How Long Will the Artificial Joint Last?

Artificial joints may last up to 25 years. However, it’s good to note that performance and lifespan can vary per person, depending on your lifestyle. It may also be affected by wear and tear caused by movements. Younger patients may need to have their artificial joints revised at some point in their lifetime.

Conditions and Injuries that May Need a Joint Replacement Surgery

If you have the following conditions and injuries, your orthopedic doctor may recommend joint replacement surgery:

  • Osteoarthritis happens when the cartilage within a joint starts to break down, and the underlying bones begin to change, leading to pain, swelling and stiffness.
  • Bone tumors are formed when the cells in a bone divide and develop a lump or mass of abnormal tissue.
  • Osteonecrosis is a bone disease that may cause the death of bone tissues and the joints that surround the bone to collapse.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that may cause joint pain, damage and swelling.
  • Non-inflammatory or inflammatory degenerative joint disease
  • Loss of joint cartilage

Questions to Ask Your Doctor Before Joint Replacement Surgery

Surgeries can be significant life events, so it’s crucial to prepare yourself physically, mentally, financially and emotionally. Asking the following questions to your doctor or the hospital staff can help you plan your appointment:

  • What documents or items do I need to prepare before being admitted to the hospital?
  • What type of anesthesia will I receive?
  • What type of implants or prosthetics will the surgeon use?
  • Will this be covered by my health insurance?
  • How long will the surgery take?
  • How long will I stay in the hospital?
  • How long will my recovery take?
  • How can I manage pain after surgery?

How to Prepare for a Joint Replacement Surgery

Here are some of the things you may need to do to prepare for your minimally invasive joint replacement surgery:

  • Try to lose weight by watching your food intake or engaging in light exercises if you are obese or overweight. Carrying extra weight could put additional stress on your joints.
  • Strengthen your upper body. This will be most beneficial if you are advised to use crutches or a walker after the surgery.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking may slow down your recovery and may increase your risk for infection.
  • Don’t drink alcohol at least 48 hours before surgery.
  • Consider modifying your home to make your life more comfortable and some of your items more accessible after surgery. You may want to hire someone to install assistive items, such as a shower bench, handrails, etc.
  • Remove items that may cause you to trip or fall, such as electrical cords and area rugs.

What Happens After the Joint Replacement Surgery?

After the procedure, your doctor may require you to stay in the hospital for a few days depending on age, comorbidities or any condition related to the affected joint. Your doctor will also be the one who will give the green light when it is safe for you to go home. If you feel pain or initial discomfort in the replaced joint, don’t panic. This is normal as your body begins recovering, and your muscles are still weak from inactivity.

After the surgery, you may experience pain for up to several weeks, while swelling may last for two to three weeks. It may persist for up to three to six months. Bruising may also occur one to two weeks after the surgery.

Choose Robotic Joint Replacement Surgery in Resolute Health

Whether it’s for robotic knee replacement or hip replacement surgery, Resolute Baptist Hospital uses advanced technology to give you more treatment options that can help you get back the life you deserve sooner than you thought.

Your orthopedic doctor may advise you to undergo specific tests, such as computed tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), provocative arthrography, pain mapping or other tests to determine if this is the right treatment option for you. Call 830-500-6900 to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors.

Find an Orthopedic Specialist

If you need a hip, knee or other joint replacement, count on our experts and technology. Request to see one of our specialists to get a second opinion, or a really good first one.

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Living With a Herniated Disc

Between the 26 bones in your spine (the vertebrae) are cushions called discs that keep the bones in place. Over time, the discs can wear out, or they can rupture. If the disc presses against the spinal cord or a nerve, it can be very painful. Most people who have a herniated disc recover in about four weeks. Your doctor can assess the amount of damage and recommend treatment.

What Causes a Herniated Disc?

Discs become less pliable as you age, making them easier to tear. When a tear happens, the inside of the disc can press on the nerves and be painful. Movement puts more pressure on the area, leading to more pain. In addition to the risks from age, being overweight, smoking or an inactive lifestyle can also weaken the discs. Tears can happen when:

  • Lifting a heavy object
  • Bending and twisting with repetition
  • Sitting in the same position consistently, such as at a desk

Herniated Disc Symptoms

Herniated discs are more common in the upper (cervical) area and lower back (lumbar). Watch for these signs of an upper back herniated disc:

  • Neck pain when moving
  • Shoulder blade area pain
  • Pain that goes down the arm into the fingers
  • Upper body numbness (shoulder, elbow, forearm, fingers)

For the lower back, symptoms may be referred to as sciatica and include:

  • Leg, hip or buttocks pain or numbness
  • Weakness in one leg
  • Back of calf or sole of foot numbness or pain

Six Ways to Manage Pain

Depending on the treatment recommended by your doctor, you may have some pain while you heal. To minimize the pain and prevent further injury:

  1. Don’t sleep on your stomach.
  2. Wear only flat or very low-heeled shoes.
  3. Hold objects close to your body when carrying.
  4. To lift an object, keep your back straight and bend with your knees and hips. (Don’t bend over and lift.)
  5. Put your feet on a stool when sitting for a long time so that knees are higher than hips.
  6. Put one foot on a small stool or box if you’re standing for a long time.

Herniated Disc Treatment

Types of treatment your doctor may recommend include:

  • Pain medication such as over the counter muscle relaxants
  • Physical therapy to strengthen back muscles and reduce pressure on the disc
  • Injections of steroids to reduce inflammation – one or more shots over time
  • Surgery to repair or remove the disc

When to Seek Immediate Help

After 4 to 6 weeks, if you feel worse or still have pain or numbness, call your doctor. Also, call if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Loss of feeling in the legs or feet
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Difficulty going to the bathroom
  • Additional pain or weakness in your spine
  • Extreme pain at night
  • Weight loss

Like many conditions, living a healthy lifestyle can help keep your body in good working condition. Get regular exercise (especially to strengthen your abdomen and back), maintain a healthy weight, avoid prolonged sitting, use caution when lifting heavy objects and try to avoid repetitive movements.

American Academy of Family Physicians