Orthopedic News and Events

Early Mobilization, Decreased Pain and Lasting Results: Benefits of Robotic-Assisted Surgery

Dr. Jon Dounchis, MAKOplasty

Jon Sebastian Dounchis is an orthopedic surgeon at the NCH Physician Group. He has been doing robotic assisted procedures on the knee and hip for five years involving hundreds of cases, and has also been involved in clinical research, application development and surgeon training.

“NCH has the best and newest version of the MAKO robot with the most up-to-date hardware and software for the platform,” Dr. Dounchis said. “It is very reliable and really nice to precisely plan, prepare and place the components for partial knee and total hip procedures.”

The robot is a very precise guidance system and measurement tool. “Mako is owned by Stryker, one of the largest orthopedic companies; and the value in this is we have a very robust robotic component,” he said. “On the knee side, it is for partial, one or two compartments for the knee, whereas, on the hip side, we do a total hip replacement.”

The surgery is a muscle sparing approach to the hip which allows patients to mobilize sooner without as many precautions or complications; the hip function is better and stabilizes more quickly, because the muscles are still attached.

“We get a CT scan of the knee or hip and create a 3D model of the joints, which gives us a custom version of that patient’s anatomy.”

Dr. Dounchis said. “For the knee, through a range of movement, we put the leg back to where it is supposed to be and measure through the whole range of movement, after which it is plotted on the computer.”

Erin Raney is the nurse manager of the orthopedic unit at the NCH Baker Hospital downtown. In this role she supervises all patient care activity on the unit.

MAKO Robot

“The surgery is definitely cutting edge and patients are having excellent outcomes,” Raney said. “The robotic approach allows for decreased pain and early mobilization, which means patients are getting up several hours after surgery with the assistance of physical therapy.” Our robotic unilateral knee surgical patients are able to go home just several hours after surgery. And our robotic total hip patients are discharged from the hospital within 2-3 days.

Suzanne Graziano, Director of NCH Orthopedics says that NCH began using this state of the art surgical approach in January 2014. She adds, “Within two weeks after robotic Total Hip Replacement surgery, one of our patients called to report she was healing better than she anticipated and she was able to drive herself to the grocery store comfortably without any pain. We love hearing progress updates from our patients.”

For more information call Suzanne Graziano, R.N., MSN, ONC, NE-BC, CNAT at (239) 624-3916.

To request an appointment or schedule service with an NCH Physician Group doctor, please call (239) 624-8106 or the Access Healthline (239) 624-1999. You may also visit our online Physician Directory, Find a Doctor.

If you have a problem that requires immediate attention please call the NCH Healthcare System switchboard (239) 624-5000. Please note: NCH cannot provide medical advice over the phone. If you are having a medical emergency, call 911 or seek emergency medical help.