It's being called a breakthrough in knee replacement surgery.
Usually, getting a new knee requires a major operation, then weeks of very painful rehab.
As Dr. Jennifer Ashton reports, some patients are back on their feet and nearly pain-free in just one day.
"I play golf and I'm semi-retired and that's all I do," says patient Gordon Morrice.
77-year-old Gordon Morrice is a lifelong athlete and avid outdoorsmen.
He even climbed mount Kilimanjaro.
But last year, the pain in his knees grew so intense; it hurt to get out of bed.
Gordon Morrice says, "My knees were hurting so badly I couldn't do anything."
He had one total knee replacement. But the recovery and rehab were extremely painful.
Morrice says, "Worst pain I ever experienced in my life really."
And Gordon's not alone. More than 15 million Americans have osteoarthritis in their knees.
The number of knee replacements has climbed from under 500,000 in 2005, to 621,000 in 2009.
Despite the lengthy and painful rehab, Gordon was about to have his second knee replaced when surgeon, Dr. Paul Sasaura, told him about a procedure called Makoplasty, a computer guided, robot assisted, partial knee replacement.
Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Paul Sasaura says, "The precision of the robotic arm is so much more accurate than what the human body can do."
Using a 3D model of the knee taken by a cat scan, the doctor guides the robot arm.
The diseased portion of the knee is "resurfaced", sparing as much of the patient's healthy bone and surrounding tissue as possible.
Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Paul Sasaura says," Resurfacing is basically taking away the worn out cartilage and a little bit of bone and replacing that part with metal and plastic."
Operating with such precision was impossible before. And since it's also minimally invasive, recovery is much quicker.
That was Dr. Jennifer Ashton reporting, in the united states, partial knee replacements account for just 7 percent of all knee replacement procedures.
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