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News & Trends - Medical Technology

Robotic surgery expands in regional Victoria

Health Industry Hub | May 18, 2022 |
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MedTech News: Functional outcomes following total hip arthroplasty (THA) are affected by accurate component positioning and restoration of hip biomechanics.

Byron Murphy was the first person in regional Victoria to undergo Stryker’s Mako robotic hip replacement surgery, in a procedure by orthopaedic surgeon Dr Michael Galvin.

Dr Galvin, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Epworth Geelong, told Health Industry Hub “Epworth Geelong was the first hospital in regional Victoria to introduce the Mako robot into orthopaedic surgery and I was thrilled to be able to carry out the first Mako robotic hip replacement surgery in regional Victoria.

“Epworth already has Mako robots at Epworth Richmond and Epworth Eastern. This investment in Epworth Geelong means the community in the Barwon and south west Victoria can receive the same level of care available in metropolitan areas.”

A systematic review comparing early and mid-term outcomes between robotic-arm assisted and manual total hip arthroplasty, revealed no significant differences between the two groups for a majority of pooled analyses and when segregating by robotic system. However, WOMAC scores measuring physical function, pain, and stiffness were significantly lower among robotic-assisted THA patients (p = 0.0006).

41 year-old Bryon Murphy used to walk up to five kilometres a day, but went on sick leave from his job last year when the pain became too great.

“I worked as long as I could, but it became too unbearable to sit in the car to drive to work, so I have been on sick leave since late November. I just really appreciate how supportive work has been in giving me the time to recover.” Mr Murphy said.

Mr Murphy was told two years ago that he would need a hip replacement, but it wasn’t covered by his private health insurance.

“Who needs a hip replacement in your 30s or 40s?” he asked.

He upgraded his insurance and served the waiting period.

The operation was due to be carried out in January but was delayed by a month due to COVID-19 restrictions on elective surgery in Victoria.
Mr Murphy recently returned to work.

“I am undergoing weekly physiotherapy and hydrotherapy at Epworth Geelong and I am walking about 20 minutes a day. I am back at work on restricted duties until I have recovered.”

Since his historic operation, the Mako robot has been used in 13 other surgeries including four other hip replacements and nine total knee replacements.

Epworth Geelong orthopaedic surgeons who are expected to use the robot include Mr Nathan Donovan, Dr Liam Halliday, Mr Andrew Thomson and Mr Andrew Wilkinson.


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