The future of orthopedic surgery in the Black Hills

The Stryker Pivot Guardian Distraction System is a new piece of equipment at Monument Health. (KEVN)
By  | 

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Robots are everywhere nowadays and no longer just science fiction. We use them daily, even in our local hospitals. Now, Monument Health is bringing in more to help change how doctors perform surgery.

It may be a nightmare come true for some: robots performing jobs in various areas. At Monument Health, they're being used for good.

A new addition in the orthopedic world is ROSA, which stands for "Robotic Orthopedic Surgeon Assistant."

"It's a robotic arm that comes in and places the cut guides on the knee and tells us where to make the cuts based off of x-rays before surgery or an MRI before surgery, so we make sure the component is placed in the proper position," said Monument Health Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Richard Little.

The Zimmer Biomet’s ROSA® Knee System works in a pretty cool way.

"I have a foot pedal that I hit and a robotic arm comes in. Once I lock it into place, it's much more stable than I've ever had before other cut guides, so I make that cut and it's right on where it's supposed to be," said Little.

The goal is to hopefully give patients a better overall surgical experience, reduce the recovery time and the need for another surgery down the line.

"It takes a long time to recover from and not as good as the first operation, so hopefully we've really upped the game as far as good quality surgical technique of putting this in for a long term result," said Little.

There's some major plans for the future with this type of equipment.

"We'll be able to do partial knee replacements with it. Also in the future will be revision knee replacements and probably also going forward for hip replacements," said Little. "The better off the hip, knee will work, and for a longer period of time, happier patients."

ROSA is in use in both Rapid City and Spearfish at the Monument Health hospitals. Also in Rapid City at the Orthopedic and Specialty Hospital, hip pain is starting to become a thing of the past.

"So this is Guardian Pivot Stryker Table. Its purpose is to allow us to do hip arthroscopy while avoiding all the complications as the old traditional hip arthroscopy procedure does. The old model requires a post to be in between the legs so we can distract the hip. It requires a lot of force, roughly around 100-120 pounds, so the idea is your sitting on a fence with weights on your legs and this table allows us to avoid that," said Monument Health Orthopedic Sports Surgeon Dr. Joseph Humpherys.

Hip arthroscopy is a surgical procedure allowing doctors to view the hip joint without making a large incision or cut through the skin and other soft tissues. Some studies show 90% of people fail hip arthroscopy because it wasn't done correctly.

"This table allows us to go up, down, flex, extend, abduct, adduct, internal rotate, external rotate. Very simply I can get access to every part of the hip so we avoid that complication of not getting certain parts," said Humpherys.

Plus, this new table gives surgeons a few more options.

"So this allows us to open the door to more minimally invasive, old procedures that we had to make a big incision now I can do through little poke holes and cameras with this table," said Humpherys.

Monument Health is also making history with the Stryker table.

"We're the first one in South Dakota to do it. Postless hip arthroscopy is the wave of the future in hip pathology," said Humpherys.

If you're having any knee or hip pain, Monument Health staff are ready to help you schedule a consultation with either doctor to see if you're a candidate to use the new equipment. You can call the Monument Health Orthopedic & Specialty Hospital at (605) 755-6100 or the Spearfish location at (605) 644-4460.