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Aurora Sinai Physician Performs Wisconsin's First Knee Surgery Using Stryker Navigation Technology

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

System Helps Align Implant for Best Stability, Function, Movement and Longevity - Less Pain, Faster Rehab

MILWAUKEE, Wis., – Orthopedic surgeon Joseph Davies, MD, broke new ground today utilizing computerized navigational technology while performing total knee replacement. This technology promises to lead to more accurate surgery and fewer post-operative complications and improve knee joint motion and stability. Through smart tools and computer vision, it will also allow for the continued evolution of limited incision surgery.

Dr. Davies, an orthopedic surgeon with the Milwaukee Orthopaedic Group, successfully performed the procedure on a 52-year old Milwaukee woman at Aurora Sinai Medical Center using the Stryker® surgical navigation system for total knee replacement surgery. It is the most advanced system of its kind in the Midwest.

“Total knee replacement is an extremely successful way to treat patients suffering from arthritis knee pain,” said Dr. Davies. “The new computerized surgical navigation technology that we have in place greatly enhances our ability to restore knee function and return patients to normal activity.”

The Stryker® knee surgery navigation system uses an infrared camera and markers along with unique instrument tracking software to continually monitor the position and mechanical alignment of the implant and the surgical instruments relative to the patient’s knee anatomy. Wireless instruments send data pertaining to the knee kinematics (movement) to a computer.

The computer analyzes and displays kinematic data on a monitor in the form of charts and graphs that supply the surgeon with the optimum angles, lines and measurements needed to align the prosthetic knee within the patient. It is now accepted among orthopedic experts that to obtain the best possible outcomes in total knee replacement, accuracy to within one to two millimeters is extremely important. Just as a wheel alignment affects the life of automobile tires, precise alignment is key to smooth movement and long-term wear in knee replacements.

“It’s like having a powerful GPS tool in the operating room,” said Dr. Davies. “With it, we can give a patient a new knee that has the best possible alignment, stability and range of movement, even in difficult anatomic situations.”

Experience also shows that a more precisely aligned limb should lead to fewer post-operative complications, improved joint stability, and a long-lasting (15-20+ year) replacement. Aurora Sinai Medical Center will soon begin using the Stryker Navigation system for total hip replacement surgery as well. The new system also has application in trauma, spine, neurosurgery, and ear, nose and throat (ENT) procedures.

Injuries to the knee are rising in the baby boomer population. Around 270,000 total knee replacements are performed each year in the United States, and Aurora Health Care performs more total joint replacements every year than any other health care system in eastern Wisconsin. Knee replacements are usually recommended for patients with severe knee pain and disability caused by damage to cartilage from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or trauma. More than 90% of people who undergo total knee replacement experience a dramatic reduction of knee pain and a significant improvement in the ability to perform common activities of daily living.

For more information on total joint replacement services at Aurora Sinai Medical Center, please call the Aurora Sports Medicine Institute at 800-219-7776.

Aurora Sinai Medical Center is part of Aurora Health Care, a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora has care sites in 75 communities in eastern Wisconsin.

# # # Contact: Christopher Miller 414-385-2362

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