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Surgeons personalize knee and hip replacement procedures for patients

SCRANTON, Pa.Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton joins Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre (GSWB, a campus of Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center) and Geisinger Shamokin Area Community Hospital (GSACH, a campus of Geisinger Medical Center) as the only hospitals in northeastern and central Pennsylvania to offer patients robotic-arm–assisted knee and hip replacements with the Mako system. 

“With Mako, we can provide each patient with a personalized surgical experience based on their specific diagnosis and anatomy,” said orthopaedic surgeon Michael Suk, M.D., chief physician officer and chair of Geisinger’s Musculoskeletal Institute.

This advanced robotic technology transforms the way joint replacement surgery is performed, enabling surgeons to more accurately position a joint replacement on a patient. In most patients, this translates into a better and longer-performing artificial joint, as well as a faster postoperative recovery.

For 30-year nurse Roseanne Hartland of Taylor, a new hip after a painful fracture meant she could return to her patients — and chase her new puppy. 

“I went home the same day. And to get through this surgery and off the walker in a week? To me that’s determination, physical therapy at home and this robotic surgery. It all meshes. It all clicks,” said Hartland, 63, the first patient to undergo a Mako surgery at GCMC in December. “Dr. John Mercuri was confident I could get back to work in just a couple of weeks. And I did.” 

Geisinger has so far invested $4.2 million in Mako technology, which is available only at Geisinger in central and northeastern Pennsylvania.

The demand for joint replacements is expected to rise in the next decade. Total knee replacements in the United States are estimated to increase by 673 percent by 2030, while primary total hip replacements are estimated to increase by 174 percent. 

Using a virtual 3-D model, Mako allows surgeons to create each patient’s surgical plan preoperatively — before ever entering the operating room. During surgery, the care team can validate that plan and make any necessary adjustments while guiding the robotic arm to execute that plan. 

“It’s exciting to be able to offer this transformative technology across the joint replacement service line to perform knee and hip replacements,” Dr. Suk said. “We are proud to offer this highly advanced robotic technology to our patients. The addition of Mako to our orthopaedic services demonstrates our commitment to provide the community with outstanding healthcare.”
With Mako, Geisinger orthopaedic surgeons can offer total knee, partial knee and total hip replacements. 

  • Mako Total Knee: This knee replacement treatment option is designed to relieve the pain caused by joint degeneration due to osteoarthritis. Through CT-based 3-D modeling of bone anatomy, surgeons use the Mako system to create a personalized surgical plan and identify the implant size, orientation and alignment based on each patient’s unique anatomy. The Mako system also enables surgeons to virtually modify the surgical plan intraoperatively and assists the surgeon in executing bone resections.
  • Mako Partial Knee: This treatment option is designed to relieve the pain caused by joint degeneration due to osteoarthritis that has not yet progressed to all three compartments of the knee. Following the personalized preoperative plan, the surgeon guides the robotic arm during bone preparation to execute the predetermined surgical plan and position the implant. By selectively targeting only the part of the knee damaged by osteoarthritis, surgeons can resurface the diseased portion of the knee, while helping to spare the healthy bone and ligaments surrounding the knee joint. 
  • Mako Total Hip: This treatment option is for adults who suffer from degenerative joint disease of the hip. During surgery, the surgeon guides the robotic arm during bone preparation to prepare the hip socket and position the implant according to the predetermined surgical plan. 

Call: For more information, call 800-921-1467 or email FixMyJoints@geisinger.edu

About Geisinger
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a Research Institute and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. With nearly 24,000 employees and more than 1,700 employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Dr. John J. Mercuri during an operation at GCMC.
Orthopaedic surgeon John J. Mercuri, M.D., prepares ahead of Roseanne Hartland’s surgery at Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton. Dr. Mercuri, a Scranton native, is a board-certified and fellowship-trained adult reconstruction specialist specializing in knee and hip replacements.
Surgery patient Roseanne Hartland with Dr. John J. Mercuri and physical therapy team.
Roseanne Hartland, of Taylor, was the first patient to undergo surgery using the Mako system at GCMC. She received physical therapy just hours after surgery, then went home the same day. Dr. Mercuri closely monitored her progress and at-home physical therapy.
Roseland Hartland and her dog, Susie.
Roseanne Hartland and her dog, Susie.
GCMC surgical team with MAKO robot.
The team at GCMC completes training with the Mako technology. From left are: Cory Crinella, Kayla Himmelberger, Bernadette Mackrell, Dr. John Mercuri, Patricia James, Amber Van Chieri, Joee-Lin Smith, and Mark Mosomill. 
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