Robotic technology aids in Baraboo hip and knee surgeries

BARABOO, Wis. (WMTV) -- Cutting edge technology now in use in Baraboo, as doctors implement a new system for hip and knee replacements.

For several weeks, surgeons at SSM Health St. Clare Hospital – Baraboo have been using the robotic technology called Mako. The equipment is designed to make joint surgeries run even smoother than before.

This comes as doctors anticipate a steep increase in the number of hip and knee replacements, as people live longer and more active lifestyles.

“For knee replacements, up to 600 percent increase, and for knee replacements, up to 200 percent increase,” says Dr. Aaron Carpiaux, an orthopedic surgeon with SSM Health St. Clare Hospital – Baraboo.

Dr. Carpiaux says using Mako will decrease patient recovery time and increase surgeon accuracy.

“There's less soft tissue dissection, and less soft tissue damage. So less bleeding, less blood loss, and earlier recover, and able to get home and get better,” he says.

The technology applies a CT scan of the patient’s joint into a 3D model on a computer screen. Surgeons then use that to accurately operate.

Mako also includes extra safety features, working to prevent human error.

“[If] the knee gets bumped or moved when the saw is going, the saw is going to stop, cut off,” Dr. Carpiaux explains. “So my finger is still on the trigger. If I were trying to cut, it wouldn't let me."

So far, surgeons at St. Clare Hospital have already performed several surgeries using Mako. Dr. Carpiaux says they have all been successful.

“Now that I've had a taste of it, I don't think I'd want to go back and do it [without],” Dr. Carpiaux says.

This type of technology is up and running across the NBC15 viewing area, but this marks the first accessible Mako technology at St. Clare Hospital in Baraboo.

If you are interested in learning more about the technology or surgery process, the hospital is hosting an open house on Tuesday September 17. It runs from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and is set to be held in the Ringling Room. Surgeons will be on hand to answer questions and demonstrate how the Mako works.