Hospital to allow students to name its robot

With new advances in technology at University Medical Center and the push for school districts to bolster math and science programs nationally, Castle Heights Elementary School scheduled a special field trip Thursday.
Aug 20, 2013

With new advances in technology at University Medical Center and the push for school districts to bolster math and science programs nationally, Castle Heights Elementary School scheduled a special field trip Thursday. 

The field trip will be focused on the new advances in health care and surgical robots at University Medical Center. 

“We anticipate more than 110 second-grade students in attendance along with five teachers,” said Adam Groshans, hospital marketing director. “These classes will get to meet the robots and actually use these surgical tools on sample equipment. The students will also get direct interaction and feedback from at least four robotically trained surgeons and specialists from each surgical company.

“The best part is that we will have the robots set up in the demonstration room and the kids will get to experience these robots first hand by operating with them. We have a number of demonstration tools to include artificial bones and props that the students will be allowed to drill and manipulate.”

Groshans said the students will get the chance to name the robots. He said each student will submit a name for the robot, and the surgeons would select the winning name. A certificate will be awarded to the winning class.

This should be a tremendous learning experience,” Groshans said.

University Medical Center is one of the first hospitals in Tennessee to offer MAKOplasty  partial knee resurfacing and MAKOplasty total hip replacement procedures, performed using the RIO Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic System marketed by MAKO Surgical Corp. RIO is a surgeon-controlled robotic arm system that enables accurate alignment and placement of implants.

“Accuracy is key in planning and performing both partial knee and total hip procedures,” said Dr. Jon P. Cornelius with Tennessee Orthopedics. “For a good outcome you need to align and position the implants just right.  RIO enables surgeons to personalize partial knee and total hip arthroplasties to achieve optimal results at a level of accuracy and reproducibility previously unattainable with conventional instrumentation.”

MAKOplasty partial knee resurfacing is a treatment option for adults living with early to mid-stage osteoarthritis that has not yet progressed to all three compartments of the knee. It is less invasive than traditional total knee surgery. A pre-surgical plan is created based on a CT scan of the patient’s own knee, and the surgeon uses the robotic arm during surgery to resurface the diseased portion of the knee, sparing healthy bone and surrounding tissue for a more natural feeling knee. An implant is then secured in the joint to allow the knee to move smoothly again.

During MAKOplasty total hip replacement surgery, RIO provides visualization of the joint and biomechanical data to guide the bone preparation and implant positioning to match the pre-surgical plan. After first preparing the femur or thighbone, the surgeon uses the robotic arm to accurately ream and shape the acetabulum socket in the hip, and then implant the cup at the correct depth and orientation. The surgeon then implants the femoral implant.  MAKOplasty offers the confidence of more accurate cup placement and accurate leg length restoration.

”We are proud to be among the first to use this innovative technology in middle Tennessee,” said Matt Caldwell, chief executive officer. “It is part of our commitment to provide our community with the best possible health care.”

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