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Putnam Hospital Doctor Performs New Type Of Knee Surgery

February 6, 2015

CARMEL, N.Y. – Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Joel Buchalter of Somers Orthopedics performed the MAKOplasty Knee Resurfacing procedure on Friday, Jan. 30, using the RIO system, a highly advanced, surgeon-controlled robotic arm that offers a new level of precision to restore mobility.

The technology is also used for total hip replacements. MAKOplasty is changing the face of orthopedic surgery with smaller incisions and quicker recovery times.

“Can I dance?” Carmen Gracia asked mere hours after receiving a partial knee replacement at Putnam Hospital Center.

Gracia was able to get out of her hospital bed shortly after the minimally invasive procedure, the first of its kind at Putnam Hospital Center.

“I feel fine,” she said as she walked with assistance down the hospital corridor.

Buchalter commented on using the equipment for the surgery.

“It was amazing, very precise,” Buchalter said of using the robot. “It’s simple to use and fun.”

Buchalter cautioned that not everyone is a good candidate for MAKOplasty.

Buchalter said Gracia had arthritis in part of her knee and her pain was centralized to that location. Gracia was joined by her husband, Ed Gracia, who had an anterior hip replacement at Putnam Hospital Center the day before her surgery.

His procedure, which calls for an incision to the front of the leg rather than the back, was also performed by Buchalter.

Ed Gracia was able to walk an hour after his operation and joined his wife as she took her first steps. The Patterson couple went home together on Tuesday.

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