Students to Learn About Robotic Knee Surgery at Holy Family

Stryker acquired MAKO Surgical Corporation, a pioneer in the advancement of robotic- arm assisted surgery in orthopaedics, in December of 2013.

Students in the advanced engineering class and the Robotics Club at Londonderry High School will visit Holy Family Hospital in Methuen April 8 to witness first-hand how robotics technology is used in health care, specifically for knee surgery.

The students’ day will start with a lecture on the knee from a surgeon. Then a Stryker engineer will give and overview of the surgical robot, as well as 3D imaging and how it’s used in joint replacement knee surgery. Stryker is a manufacturer of medical technology, including implants used in orthopedic surgery. The day will end with the surgeon and engineer utilizing the robot to perform surgery using saw bones.

The surgeon will talk about the physiology of the knee, forces and vectors on knee compartments, the role of cartilage and viscous materials in the knee, non-surgical and surgical treatments for knee problems, and the role of robotics in knee surgery. The Stryker engineer will talk about how the robot works, why and how CT scans and 3D imaging are used in robotic surgery, how templates are used in knee surgery, how landmarks and robot arrays are used, how an implant is balanced and how balancing impacts the wear rate of implants.

During the saw bone lab, students will participate with the surgeon to identify landmarks and register arrays, initiate the cutting of the bones, and attach the implant.

The field trip takes place from 10 a.m. to noon, in the hospital auditorium, 70 East St., Methuen.