New knee surgery system debuts at Abrazo Arrowhead

Apr 14, 2022


Sun City resident back to hiking with new knee

GLENDALE – After multiple meniscus repair procedures, Tammy Bolduc decided it was time for a different approach for her knee pain. That approach was joint replacement surgery at an Abrazo Health hospital.

Bolduc, 63, is back to an active lifestyle of hiking, walking, riding her elliptical trainer and more after enduring years of knee pain and three previous meniscus repairs. Keeping up with her granddaughter on the trails is no longer an issue.

“I’m very active and I didn’t want another meniscus repair. Now I’m back to hiking, walking, using the elliptical,” said Bolduc, a Sun City resident. She is one of the Abrazo patients who chose knee replacement with the CORI Surgical System for partial and total knee replacement.

The robot-assisted surgical system uses artificial intelligence to help surgeons accurately size and place knee replacement implants. A hand-held instrument uses computer guidance that enables physicians to sculpt the patient’s knee to receive the implant. It is among a new generation of robotic-assisted procedures and offers another option for those seeking relief from arthritic knee pain.

“Once I was released to full activity I went back to hiking on Thunderbird Mountain. I hiked four miles this morning. There is no pain at all. I’m just very pleased with the outcome,” Bolduc said recently.

Abrazo Scottsdale Campus was first in Arizona to offer the system, adding to Abrazo hospitals’ growing list of robot-assisted surgery offerings. Abrazo Arrowhead Campus recently added the CORI robot to its operating room technology.

cori-surgery-400-x-300“The procedure is suitable for most patients who are healthy, normally active and have arthritis of the knee. Also, the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is normally removed with most total knee replacements. With the aid of CORI, we can more precisely preserve the ACL (when intact) in healthy and active individuals. This can help the patient's new knee feel more natural,” said Bolduc’s surgeon Dr. Brent Hansen, an orthopedic surgeon at Abrazo Arrowhead Campus.

The system enables surgeons to accurately predict how the knee is going to perform when parts of it are replaced. This is done during surgery, before the new joint is implanted. The artificial intelligence platform allows the surgeon to take the knee through its range of motion, and stress it throughout the entire range to make subtle adjustments in implant sizes and positions.

Most robotic-assisted surgeries allow minimally invasive techniques. In orthopedics, this could include less violation of bone or sparing ligaments, often allowing faster recovery. Robotics adds precision and accuracy to the surgeon's movements. Robot-assisted surgical options are available for orthopedic procedures at Abrazo Scottsdale Campus, Abrazo Arrowhead Campus and Abrazo West Campus.

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