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Robotic-assisted knee rugery helping patients return to activity

Procedure replaces diseased portion of knee

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Dawn Tatarka has always loved to dance, spending five days a week in Zumba and other high-energy dance classes for fun and exercise. But the pain in her knees threatened to bring that part of her life to a halt.

She couldn’t travel with her husband or enjoy time with her three sons. Walking up and down stairs became impossible, and she’d have to take elevators and escalators and avoid going places that required a lot of walking. Physical therapy, pain pills and cortisone shots provided no relief.

“I felt like I was 90, but I was only in my 40s. It was really bad,” she said.

Then she found Steven M. Crenshaw, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon with Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute who specializes in MAKOplasty Partial Knee Resurfacing.

The procedure is for people with early-to mid-stage osteoarthritis, in which only the diseased portion of the knee is replaced, sparing healthy bone and ligaments.

The robotic-assisted surgery allows surgeons to be more precise in aligning and positioning the implants, which helps them last longer. The minimally invasive procedure provides more rapid relief from pain, a shorter hospital stay, a quicker return to daily activities and more natural knee function.

Using the system’s software, doctors use a CT scan to create a 3D model of the patient’s knee. From this model, a pre-surgical plan is developed for the positioning of implants based on the patient’s unique anatomy.

Tatarka’s surgery was performed in January 2013, followed by rehab at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville’s Joint Center. Within a few months, she was back to dancing and now continues to this day going five days a week.