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Stephanie Armstrong-Helton

Robotic Surgery Service Expanded at St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron
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MAKOplasty® Total Hip Arthroplasty Robotic-Assisted Replacement Surgery Service. 

Port Huron, Mi…St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron (SJMPH) is pleased to announce the expansion of the region's only state of the art robotic surgical service. With the addition of MAKOplasty® Total Hip Arthroplasty, SJMPH now offers the most highly advanced surgeon-controlled robotic technology.

The first hospital in the state of Michigan to launch robotic-assisted hip replacement surgery, St. Joseph Mercy was also the first to bring surgeon-controlled robotic surgery to Michigan's Thumb region in July 2010. The MAKOplasty® Total Hip Arthroplasty (THA) service is another enhanced robotic surgery designed to support the surgeons' ability to virtually expand their expertise and more accurately align and position implants through global position system (GPS)-guided, three-dimensional (3-D) surgical imagery, better meeting the joint replacement needs of patients.

Powered by the RIO® Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic system, this new application may reduce potential complications associated with conventional hip replacement surgery. MAKOplasty® Total Hip Arthroplasty provides a pre-operative, 3-D reconstruction of the patient's hip and is used to develop a patient-specific plan. Similar to the highly successful partial knee resurfacing application, the robotic-arm assists the surgeon during the procedure to accurately prepare the joint and optimally place the hip implant.

“This is one more example of the technological advancements and substantial financial investments we are making to elevate the health status of this community,” St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron President and CEO Peter Karadjoff said. “As the first in the region to launch robotic surgery, our surgeons' experience and commitment to innovation ensures that we can continue to expand our high-tech surgical options to patients across Michigan.”

With the robotic system is expected to arrive before the end of the year, Karadjoff said a total of four surgeons will perform the new surgery during the launch phase which will take place very early in 2012. "This acquisition will continue to position St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron as the southeast Michigan market leader in robotic surgical services."

"Surpassing volume expectations, SJMPH's MAKOplasty® partial knee resurfacing procedure was first to market in the region," explains Rich Seim, Chair of the St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron Board of Trustees, and Executive Vice President of Michigan Petroleum. "The service provides early intervention treatment option for knee osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis. With one of our surgeons hitting the 100 case mark, patients have traveled from across southeast Michigan to the area pursuing this surgery."

Rajesh Makim, MD; Todd Murphy, MD; and Scott Heithoff, DO; all of Orthopedic Associates, PC will be trained and certified in the new THA procedure, joining Edward Nebel, MD, of Nebel Orthopedics who has already obtained his certification.

Approximately 10 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis (OA) of the hip, or the wearing away of the cartilage that cushions the bones of the hips, causing hip pain and stiffness, which can affect mobility, including working and bending. Hip OA is the most common cause of hip replacement surgery.

According to a June 2011 survey conducted by Harris Interactive, nearly nine out of 10 survey respondents thought that hip replacement gives people back their independence and believe it can restore a better quality of life.

However, a report titled: "Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research", published by Massachusetts General Hospital reflected that over a sustained period of study of 1,828 hip replacement patients, only 50 percent of acetabular cups (the cup-shaped socket of the hip joint) were actually positioned in the acceptable range. Mal-positioning of acetabular cups in conventional hip replacement surgery may lead to impingement that can cause dislocation, fracture and increased implant wear. The MAKOplasty®  THA provides surgeons and patients the level of technology needed to help improve accuracy and precision in surgery that can result in a reduction of the complications reported from conventional approaches.

Patients of robotic-assisted surgical procedures can potentially experience numerous benefits,  including a shorter hospital stay and quicker recovery.

“From what our patients have experienced through our other robotic surgery service, we look forward to the benefits this new robotic program will bring,” concludes Karadjoff. “As a not-for-profit hospital, St. Joseph Mercy is dedicated to providing the most comprehensive, compassionate care to the community. As the area’s leader in orthopedic and robotic surgical services, we look forward to working collaboratively with our surgeons for the continued success of these and other future programs.”

For a referral to one of the qualified surgeons currently accepting MAKOplasty® partial knee or hip robotic surgery at St. Joseph Mercy, please call toll free: 1-888-MERCYME (1-888-637-2963), or visit us online at You can also look for newly scheduled robotic surgery educational events by following St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron on facebook and twitter.  

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St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron. A member of the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System.

St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron (SJMPH)
Founded in 1954 by the Religious Sisters of Mercy, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Port Huron, MI, is a 164-bed acute care, community-based hospital providing adult medical/surgical services; emergency care; cancer care; cardiac care; inpatient rehabilitation services, including stroke care; orthopedics and joint replacement; and a vast number of other outpatient testing, health, and medical services. As a not-for-profit hospital, SJMPH reinvests all profits back into the communities we serve, while providing patients with the utmost compassion and care. SJMPH was recently awarded accreditation from The Joint Commission and was provided the “Gold Seal of Approval”.  SJMPH’s cancer program was named “best in cancer care” and was the first hospital in St. Clair County to receive the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons [2008]. St. Joseph Mercy is only the second hospital in the state of Michigan to offer access to partial knee, and the first in Michigan to offer hip robotic surgery. We are the only hospital in the entire Thumb region to provide specialized services for seniors in need of emergency department treatment. SJMPH is located in St. Clair County and the Thumb Region, northeast of Detroit, Michigan. St. Joseph Mercy Hospital is a member of the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System. For more information, visit:

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