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Surgeon Performs 1,000th Robot-Assisted Surgery at Decatur Memorial Hospital


Feb. 12, 2021...DECATUR – When Dr. Edmund Raycraft performs knee or hip replacement surgery at Decatur Memorial Hospital, he has a little help from a special assistant: a robot named Mako.

Raycraft, of DMH Orthopaedic Associates, has been performing procedures using the Mako Robotic Arm Assisted Surgery System since 2016. He recently performed his 1,000th procedure using the technology, which uses three-dimensional CT scans to provide surgeons with a high level of accuracy.

“The Mako robot takes some of the uncertainty out of these procedures,” Raycraft said. “Even a very experienced orthopedic surgeon can’t match the precision it provides. Higher accuracy in cutting and positioning means less damage to healthy tissue and bone, which means less pain and a shorter recovery for the patient.”

Raycraft’s recent procedures using the Mako system include 651 full or partial knee replacements and 363 hip replacements.

The Mako robotic arm is able to make small but significant adjustments during the procedure, allowing the surgeon to tailor the procedure to each patient’s joint. Surgeons can explore range of motion and other important data points onscreen before making the first incision.

“Orthopedic surgery is very precise,” Raycraft said. “With a knee replacement, for example, a millimeter or two can make a huge difference in a patient’s recovery time and post-procedure quality of life. Increased precision can even help extend the lifespan of the replacement joint, preventing patients from having repeated surgeries in years to come.”

Raycraft is considered one of the most proficient users of Mako technology in the Midwest, and Decatur Memorial Hospital is the fourth-largest user of Mako in the region, with a usage rate similar to large university hospitals in Chicago and Madison, Wisconsin.

“Technology doesn’t fundamentally change the way we approach these surgeries,” Raycraft said. “What it does is allow us to remove some of the guesswork that was inherent in joint replacements for decades.”

Learn more about joint replacement at Central Illinois Orthopaedic Center at Decatur Memorial Hospital.