So you’ve made the difficult decision to have knee surgery. Maybe it was an easy one or a hard one, but nevertheless, you’ve decided you can’t live with chronic knee pain any longer. When you’re considering surgery, a knee replacement with the modern aid of advanced technology might be right for you. Conway Medical Center offers this state-of-the-art procedure right here in Horry County. Dr. Christian Eccles, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon with CMC Orthopaedics, explains this procedure’s many benefits.
“Joint replacement is a big decision,” stresses Dr. Eccles, “but it might be the answer if significant joint pain prevents you from living a healthy, enjoyable life. Thanks to medical advances, joint replacement is safer and more effective than ever. Add to that the precision of computer navigation or robotic surgery, and it’s a win for many patients.”
Robotic-assisted knee replacement explained
Robotic-assisted knee surgery doesn’t mean that a machine does your surgery. “It’s important to understand that the robot doesn’t operate independently,” explains Dr. Eccles. “It doesn’t move unless I prompt it to. I’m there in the operating room, making all the decisions and cuts during the entire surgery.”
“This technology provides a more precise way to perform the knee surgery. I can map out a plan built around your anatomy. The robot helps me process all the information and create a map of sorts, a custom surgical plan that is unique to you and your joint.”
During the procedure, a camera and optical trackers will share exactly where your knee is located within the three-dimensional operating space. This allows Dr. Eccles to adjust the surgical map in real-time to improve your knee’s joint alignment, balance, and motion.
The added benefit of computer navigation
Many patients opt for computer navigation-assisted joint surgery after learning of the benefits. Dr. Eccles can attach a small computer inside the incision that tells him and his team exactly where to make the bone cuts to remove arthritis precisely.
“Without using advanced technology, we historically had to make a large drill hole at the end of the thigh bone and then pass a long rod up the canal to estimate where the hip center was. This is still just guessing and isn’t exact as every patient has different angles. This leads to disruption of the bone marrow and allows it to leak down into the newly replaced knee,” Dr. Eccles notes. “Since we can eliminate this step with technology, we have less blood loss, more exactness matching the unique anatomy of the particular patient, and patients have less postoperative pain.”
Early supporting data on these surgeries and their outcomes are promising. Some studies have shown decreased postoperative pain, reduced recovery time, and decreased blood loss for patients undergoing replacement procedures utilizing technology.
Let technology support your knee replacement
Knee replacements are an excellent way to stop arthritis or other long-term damage impacting your movement. The thought of surgery may create anxiety and uncertainty, however, the modern-day aids of technology with our fellowship-trained surgeon at the helm may be the peace of mind you need.
Dr. Christian Eccles is routinely performing robotic and computer-navigated knee replacement surgery at Conway Medical Center in Myrtle Beach and Conway. With incredible accuracy and customization to each patient’s particular anatomy, his patients get out of the operating room and back to doing the things they love quicker and with greater long-term success.
Fellowship trained in Hip and Knee orthopaedic surgery at Indiana University Health
Dr. Christian J. Eccles completed his undergraduate education at Weber State University in his hometown of Ogden, Utah. He graduated summa cum laude and was able to dissect cadavers and teach other students anatomy in the lab for two years. He went on to earn his medical degree from Texas Tech University Paul L. Foster School of Medicine. Following medical school, he completed a 5-year Orthopaedic Surgery residency at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. Dr. Eccles specializes in hip and knee replacements, including complex primary and revision joint replacements.
If you are wondering if joint replacement surgery is the next step to alleviating your chronic joint pain, CMC Orthopaedics is here to help! Answering some of the questions below may bring a better understanding of what you are experiencing and what your doctor will be evaluating. If you’d like to talk through your pain management and surgical options with one of our experts at CMC Orthopaedics, submit this form with your information and we’ll be happy to reach out to you with an appointment.