Mako: First Place Goes To…

We like firsts. We celebrate the first car across the finish line, the first baby born in a new year, and the first day of spring. Daniel Brooks has a “first” to celebrate, too. He had a Mako robotic arm-assisted joint replacement during the first month that it was offered in Grand Haven!

“I was pretty sure this hip replacement was going to hurt,” Daniel says. “Everyone told me how much pain I would experience, and how hard those first 200 steps would be. So I had prepared myself.”

He showed up at North Ottawa Community Hospital on a Friday in April for a 12:30pm surgery. Dr. Baszler performed a Mako Robotic Arm-assisted hip replacement procedure, and by 5:30pm Daniel was in his room.

Daniel had a date with his physical therapist on Saturday morning, who helped him get out of bed for those much-anticipated first 200 steps. “I didn’t feel any pain at all,” Daniel says in amazement. “I walked all the way down the hall, slapped the door, and turned around. After we walked back, I decided I didn’t need the walker, and switched to a cane.” Kelli, the physical therapist, was watching with no small amount of amazement. So then she took him to the physical therapy room, and had him climb up and down four steps. “Still no pain,” Daniel recalls.

Dr. Baszler came in to check him out, and said he could be discharged. No reason to keep a patient who is in no pain and who can walk! Daniel had planned on three days in the hospital, and then a stay at Heartwood Lodge for a couple weeks of therapy. Instead, within 24 hours, he was back home.

Three weeks after surgery, Daniel was back at work laying tile for restaurants. This 73-year-old admits that he did finally need some Aleve during physical therapy! But he has had no problems since he returned to his craft.

Why do patients experience so much less pain and so much faster recovery when the physician uses the Mako System? The Mako System is a tool that successful surgeons can use to make the joint replacement better. “The precision we achieve is certainly a benefit,” Dr. Baszler says. “I can visualize the whole surgery in 3D before I make the first incision. That means less in and out with instruments, and less muscle damage as I get a better view. That leads to far less physical therapy and pain medication while the patient is recovering. Overall, it’s a faster, less painful recovery with a better long-term prognosis.”

There’s one more first to note here. North Ottawa Community Hospital is the first hospital in Ottawa County to offer all three Mako robotic-arm assisted joint replacements (hip, knee and partial knee). And because the procedures take place in a hospital setting, Medicare and Medicaid cover them. Those same procedures are not covered if they are performed at an outpatient surgical center. Having the Mako System at the hospital in Grand Haven is a game changer for patients covered by these insurances.

If you would like to learn more about Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery, we invite you to attend one of our free seminars. If you have questions about Mako Technology and would like to speak to our Orthopedic Coordinator, please call 616.847.5309.

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