New robotic technology at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston will ensure better long-term outcomes for Veterans undergoing total hip replacement surgery.

Recently, Dr. David M. Green and a team of orthopedic surgeons at the Houston VA performed VA’s first total hip replacement using Mako robotic-assisted 3D technology.

The patient, 38-year-old Army Veteran James Hood, is recovering nicely and says the surgery has already been life-changing.

Dr. David M. Green

“I had been in constant pain and only able to move with a walker or a wheelchair for quite some time,” Hood said. “Since I had the surgery, I have already been to physical therapy twice and feel no pain at all. I’m thrilled.”

Hood is looking forward to going home soon and being reunited with his wife and three children. He says he gets all his health care from VA and has been satisfied.

VA doctors with me every step of the way

“My doctors at VA have fought alongside me every step of the way to help me get better,” Hood said. “This new technology is really cutting-edge and I feel so lucky to have gotten it at VA. My goal is to be up and around without a walker or a wheelchair in a few short weeks.”

Musculoskeletal disorders like osteoarthritis are very common in the Veteran population. When osteoarthritis becomes severe, normal activities like walking, going up stairs or even sitting can become extremely painful.

Total hip replacement surgeries can offer Veterans a solution to this pain and improve their quality of life.

According to Green, the new Mako technology begins with a CT scan of the Veteran’s hip joint, taken to generate a 3D virtual model of their unique anatomy. The 3D model helps the surgeon see things that can’t been seen with an x-ray alone.

“Our Veterans deserve nothing but the best.”

This additional information will help Houston VA doctors determine the optimal size, placement and positioning of the hip implant. Throughout the procedure, the technology provides real-time data to the surgeon. It allows doctors to continuously assess the movement and tension of the new joint and adjust accordingly.

“This new technology is very powerful,” Green said. “It allows us to perform these surgeries with precise accuracy, creating a super snug fit of the perfectly sized implant. This should allow for better long-term outcomes with fewer complications for our Veterans and help them along their journey to make a full recovery. They deserve nothing but the best and we are proud to give it to them.”

By Maureen Dyman is the communications director for Houston VA

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Published on Sep. 22, 2021

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One Comment

  1. Donna Tuter September 23, 2021 at 7:33 am

    Dr. Green I’m a veteran and I desperately need a hip replacement. I have been told that I have to meet three different criteria before I am a candidate and I am already at 6.7 A1C and my BMI is 36 and I have had a shot in my hip by Dr. Kilroy, so do I qualify for the surgery so that I can get my life back so that I can walk and live without constant pain?

    Dr.Green please help me I need this surgery so much.

    Thank you for your help
    Donna Tuter

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