Tag Archives: Knee Replacement

Robotic-arm Assisted Procedures Now Offered at AOC


Spring Hill Medical Center is unveiling its latest tool to help patients. It’s a robotic arm to assist in surgeries for partial knee and total hip replacements.

So, this is how it works. Patients go through CAT-scans and surgeons use information from that to create pre-operative plans for the placement of their implants. During operation, the surgeon is in control, but the robotic arm limits their movement – that keeps the accuracy within one-tenth of a millimeter.

“A huge and overwhelming benefit is really being able to place those components accurately. We know from multiple studies that placing implants in their correct orientation leads to better outcomes, fewer complication, and enhance the longevity of the implant. So, we want patients to have a great result but also a very durable result.” – Dr. Matthew Barber, AOC

Spring Hill Medical Center is the first hospital in the Mobile area to offer operations with this device.


AOC Surgeons Now Offer Robotic-Arm Assisted Partial Knee & Total Hip Replacement Procedures


Springhill Medical Center is the first hospital in the Mobile area to offer Stryker’s Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Partial Knee and Total Hip replacement procedures. This latest advancement in joint replacement surgery is transforming the way joint replacement procedures are performed.

“This system allows us to be extremely precise in the planning, preparation and implantation of joint prostheses to help patients achieve the best possible results,” said Dr. Matthew Barber, AOC Joint Replacement Specialist.

Robotic-arm assisted surgery is a new approach to joint replacement that offers the potential for a higher level of patient-specific implant alignment and positioning. The technology allows surgeons to create a patient-specific 3D plan and perform joint replacement surgery using a surgeon-controlled robotic-arm that helps the surgeon execute the procedure with a high degree of accuracy.

“Mako is changing the way joint replacement surgeries are performed,” said Dr. Barber. Using a virtual 3D model, the Mako System allows the surgeons to personalize each patient’s surgical plan pre-operatively, so there is a clear plan for how the surgeon will position the implant before entering the operating room. During surgery, the surgeon can validate that plan and make any necessary adjustments, while the robotic-arm then allows the surgeon to execute that plan with a high level of accuracy and predictability. The combination of these three features of the system has the potential to lead to better outcomes and higher patient satisfaction.


The Mako Partial Knee application is a treatment option designed to relieve the pain caused by joint degeneration due to osteoarthritis that has not yet progressed to all three compartments of the knee. Following the personalized pre-operative plan, the surgeon guides the robotic-arm during bone preparation to execute the predetermined surgical plan and to position the implant. By selectively targeting only the part of the knee damaged by osteoarthritis, surgeons can resurface the diseased portion of the knee while helping to spare the healthy bone and ligaments surrounding the knee joint. Studies have shown robotic-arm assisted partial knee replacement to be two to three times more accurate than manual partial knee replacement procedures.

The Mako Total Hip application is a treatment option for adults who suffer from degenerative joint disease of the hip. During surgery, the surgeon guides the robotic-arm during bone preparation to prepare the hip socket and position the implant according to the predetermined surgical plan. In cadaveric studies, Mako total hip replacement acetabular cup replacement has been shown to be four times more accurate and reproducible than manual total hip replacement procedures.

“AOC is very proud to have this innovative technology in the greater Mobile area,” said Dr. Barber. “I am excited about leveraging the use of robotic technology to produce better outcomes for our patients.”

Mako Robotic-Arm Technology

A Giant Step Forward in Knee Replacement Surgery

A Giant Step Forward in Knee Replacement Surgery

A Giant Step Forward in Knee Replacement Surgery

It’s an unfortunate fact that up to 20% of patients who undergo traditional knee replacement are unhappy with their results due to persistent pain in the joint—even after surgery. This chronic pain typically comes from a variety of sources, including instability, stiffness, or improper fit and sizing of the implants. AOC has the only local surgeon, Dr. Matt Barber, who provides a solution to some of these potential problems with the ConforMIS iTotal Knee Replacement.

Dr. Barber knew there had to be a way to achieve a higher success rate for total knee replacement. He found that ConforMIS uses 3D printing technology to fabricate patient-specific implants designed to perfectly match an individual’s anatomy and replicate the form and function of his or her original knee. By using a CT scan of the knee, ConforMIS’ computer software can calculate the shape and position of the implant that works best and restores the proper alignment of the leg.

While there are other technologies available (such as robotic assistance), they still use the conventional off-the-shelf knee implants, thus still having the potential for anatomic mismatches. ConforMIS’s total knee and partial knee replacements, on the other hand, are patient specific, producing a comfortable fit and allowing more natural movement with a quicker recovery time. In addition, the femoral component of this implant is thinner than those involved in a traditional total knee replacement, preserving more of the patient’s bone, which can be beneficial if other treatments are ever needed.

ConforMIS iTotal Knee Replacement is the first FDA-approved custom total knee replacement system for people who have osteoarthritis of the knee and is the only system of its kind designed for each individual patient’s needs.

For more information on this breakthrough technology, contact Dr. Matt Barber’s office at Alabama Orthopaedic Clinic at 251.410.3600 and learn how to increase your quality of life.


How to Choose the Right Orthopedic Surgeon

Choosing the right orthopedic surgeon is the first step toward a successful surgery and a fast recovery. You may be wondering, but how do I know which surgeon is right for me? Here are a few tips and questions to keep in mind through your decision process:

Ask around

Just as you consult your friends, family or neighbors about products and services, so should you about doctor recommendations. AOC’s Dr. Barber says that asking around is the safest bet. He added, “There are a lot of people in the community that have these surgeries. So if you know 10 people that have had a great result from one surgeon that’s usually a pretty good endorsement.”

Don’t just take your friends and family’s word for it, also seek professional recommendations from your doctor or healthcare provider. Asking around can help you find a starting point in your search for an orthopedic surgeon.

Quick search

Go to your search engine of choice and type in your potential surgeon’s name. Review what others have said and any other available information. Remember: not everything on the Internet is concrete – some reviews can be exaggerated. Take the information and use it with discretion.

Research further

Narrow down your search by looking at your potential surgeon’s credentials. Visit their practices website, and learn more about their work experience and area of specialty. If you want more information about a particular surgeon, a great source is the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

Before you make your final decision, consider these questions:

Questions to Ask Before Having an Operation

1. Why do I need this operation?
2. How will the operation be performed?
3. Are there other treatment options, and is this operation the best option for me?
4. What are the risks, benefits, and possible complications for this operation?
5. How will I be monitored during the operation?
6. What can I expect before the operation?
Will I need any special preparation – tests, blood donation, blood thinners and change in my routine medications?
Will I need any special diet?
When do I have to stop eating and drinking?
Should I take my home medication on the day of my operation?
7. What can I expect for my recovery in terms of treatment, medication, diet, and home care?
What type of care will I have to provide for myself at home?
When will I be able to return to my regular activities (work, lifting, driving, and exercise)?
Will I need any medication—antibiotics, pain medication?
What can I do to help with my recovery?
8. Could you tell me about your experience with this operation?
Do you perform this operation regularly?
What is your success rate, and how often do your patients experience any problems?
Are you board certified?
Are you a member of the American College of Surgeons?
How can I contact you if I have more questions?
9. Is the surgical facility accredited and properly staffed?
10. How much will the operation cost me, and what type of insurance do you take?

What to Consider when Looking at Online Doctor Websites:

1. The Data
Where did they get the data?
How accurate is the data?
Is the data immune from bias?
Does the data consider practice specializations or areas of focus?
2. Healthcare Expertise
Other Resources for Joint Replacement Surgeon Data American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons


AOC understands selecting the right orthopedic surgeon can be overwhelming. Please visit our website, www.alortho.com, to learn more about our team of doctors and the services they provide. To schedule an appointment or consultation, please call: 251.410.3600

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There’s a New Type of Knee Replacement in Town

Your knees are, in some shape or form, involved in almost all of your daily activities. Whether you are driving to work, shopping for groceries, or playing golf, you are using your knees. Yet, people rarely think about their knees. That is… until they start to hurt.

Since the first knee replacement surgery was performed over forty years ago in 1968, the world has witnessed countless advances in technology, from the creation of the internet and cell phones, to the sequencing of human DNA.  During that time, knee replacements have become one of the most successful procedures in all of medicine. Therefore, it is only fitting that the technology used in knee replacement surgeries has advanced as well.

AOC physician, Dr. Matthew Barber, is the first orthopaedic surgeon in the Mobile area to embrace a revolutionary technology designed to improve patient outcomes with a better fit, faster recovery, better function and greater overall patient satisfaction. The customized knee replacement technology strives to make the procedure even more successful than when using traditional off-the-shelf implants. The product is called the ConforMIS iTotal® and despite being a relatively new technology, there have already been over 30,000 implantations of these customized devices across the country.

Prior to ConforMIS customized implants being available, orthopedic surgeons could only chose from a limited range of sizes of “off-the-shelf” implants. With ConforMIS, a uniquely sized and shaped implant can be designed and manufactured for each individual patient and matched to their specific anatomy. The first step is a CT scan is taken of the patient’s bone. From there, the CT scan is submitted to ConforMIS and a three-dimensional model of the knee is created using proprietary imaging software. This model is used to create a mold using advanced 3D printing technology, which re-creates the shape of the patient’s knee, corrected for any underlying deformity. Additionally, 3D printing is also used to create a complete set of instruments for the surgeon that are single-use and only used during one procedure. Total production time is only 6 weeks.

“ConforMIS is able to create implants that are within millimeters of a patient’s biological knee, thereby avoiding size compromises often faced with off-the-shelf implants,” says Dr. Barber. The customized fit of the iTotal requires less bone and soft tissue removal by the surgeon, which is believed to help shorten recovery time and offer the potential for a knee that moves more naturally.

At this time, Dr. Barber is the only orthopaedic surgeon in the Mobile area to offer a customized option for partial knee and total knee replacement implants. If you feel you might be a candidate for this innovative procedure, please call Alabama Orthopaedic Clinic at (251) 410-3600 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Barber today.

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