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Hartford HealthCare's Bone & Joint Institute Pioneers Robotic Assisted Technology for Total Knee Replacement

November 03, 2016

Hartford HealthCare’s Bone & Joint Institute at Hartford Hospital has pioneered a new and advanced technology to improve outcomes for total knee replacement. The Bone & Joint Institute at Hartford Hospital becomes the first in Connecticut and one of the first hospitals in the nation to offer patients a new tool in orthopedic surgery for total knee replacement using the RIO® Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic System or Mako System.  The procedure was performed by Dr. Paul Murray, a Hartford Hospital orthopedic surgeon.

Surgeons from all across the country will train at the Hartford Hospital campus, learning how to perform this procedure and other robotic arm procedures at Hartford Hospital’s Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation. RIO is a surgeon-controlled robotic arm system that enables more precise alignment and placement of implants. It features a patient-specific visualization system and robotic arm technology that is integrated with surgical instruments. It assists surgeons in pre-planning and treating each patient uniquely, and has been used for years for partial knee resurfacing and total hip replacement procedures. 

“Hartford Hospital has a strong history of innovation, bringing leading-edge treatment to the community. These are the kinds of innovations that will be a hallmark of Hartford HealthCare's new Bone & Joint Institute at Hartford Hospital,” said Jeffrey Flaks, Hartford HealthCare’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “While construction is nearly complete on the Bone & Joint Institute, we are already bringing the latest technology to our communities and ensuring all patients have improved access to the highest quality care.”

The Bone & Joint Institute at Hartford Hospital opens Jan. 9 and will usher in a new era for musculoskeletal care in New England. Construction is nearly complete on the $150-million facility, the only orthopedic specialty hospital in New England. The Institute will integrate all elements of orthopedics and musculoskeletal treatment, including specialty care, diagnostics, rehabilitation, rheumatology, and pain management. The Bone & Joint Institute is the first-of-its-kind, fully integrated, breakthrough “hospital within a hospital” — where the most complex orthopedic cases can be performed, staffed by extraordinarily talented and experienced clinicians and subspecialists. The Bone & Joint Institute will provide access to innovative sports rehabilitation and analysis programs currently available only at Olympic training sites, serving  patients with major injuries requiring limb-saving surgery to weekend warriors to seasoned athletes and Baby Boomers seeking a higher quality of life.

The patient, 46-year-old Gary Andruskiewicz, was an avid soccer player for years and is eager to get back in the game. He first injured his ACL in 1988. Years of activity and joint damage led to arthritis and debilitating pain. Andruskiewicz learned he was a candidate for a total knee replacement and researched the options available.

After consulting with Dr. Murray, Andruskiewicz chose to proceed with the latest technology available for total knee replacement, making him the first Connecticut patient to have a total knee replacement in this manner.

“We are proud to be among the first to use this innovative technology,” said Dr. Stuart Markowitz, president of Hartford Hospital.  “It is part of our commitment to the community to provide the most technologically advanced care as the leaders in musculoskeletal procedures.”