Operation Walk USA – Helping People with Joint Pain Get on their Feet Again

March 6, 2013

There are many uninsured or underinsured people in the U.S. who need joint replacement surgeries, but can’t afford them. They suffer daily from debilitating hip or knee pain, unable to walk far or enjoy recreational activities. Imagine their joy if they could get their needed surgery for free, so they could return to normal activities without pain. That’s what Operation Walk USA does.

Operation Walk USA, founded in 2011, is a non-profit humanitarian organization that provides free hip or knee replacements for patients who can’t afford them. It drew its inspiration from Operation Walk (International), another nonprofit, volunteer medical services organization that provides free surgical treatment for patients in developing countries. In 2012, over 60 surgeons from 24 hospitals across the United States performed nearly 150 life-changing surgeries through Operation Walk USA.

MAKO Surgical Corp. is proud to be one of the medical device companies that donates implants for procedures provided through this worthy organization, and salutes the surgeons who have dedicated their time and services to helping people in need.  For more information on Operation Walk USA and Operation Walk (International), visit opwalkusa.com and operationwalk.org, or view an educational video here.

MyMAKOplasty Annual Contest Winner – Too Young to Be Sidelined

March 6, 2013

From June 1 through December 31, 2012 MAKO Surgical Corp. sponsored a contest for patients to share their MAKOplasty® experiences.  Patients posted a photo and information on the MyMAKOplasty contest app hosted from the MAKOplasty® Facebook page, and there was a public vote on whose story was the most original and inspiring. Prizes were awarded monthly and quarterly, with a grand prize of an iPad to the annual winner.

We are proud to announce that Craig Eastin, a 52 year old Disc Golfer from Center Point, Iowa was the annual winner.  For ten years, Eastin suffered with knee pain due to osteoarthritis in the inner (medial) compartment of his left knee. During this time, the pain forced him to give up many activities he loved, such as bowling and softball.  The only activity he could continue without too much pain was Disc Golf, in which he competes in the professional division for those 50 and over.

Although doctors advised him to wait to have a knee replacement because of his young age, his knee pain kept getting worse and worse. Eventually he sought a second opinion, and learned about MAKOplasty® from Dr. Roswell Johnston of Allen Hospital. Dr. Johnston determined Eastin was a good candidate for MAKOplasty® Partial Knee Resurfacing.

Eastin underwent surgery on April 30, 2012, and played Disc Golf just sixteen days after surgery. He went on to play in a tournament at the end of June.

“There are a lot of people out there who have bad knees but are told they are too young to get replacements, who do not know about this minimally invasive procedure called MAKOplasty,” said Eastin. “This procedure is amazing.   Everyone I have talked to who found out I had partial knee replacement just seven weeks ago is in awe and wants to know more. I have referred at least ten people to my surgeon to see if they can be helped too. The word needs to get out so people can get on with their active lifestyles while they are still healthy enough to be active.”

We thank Mr. Eastin for sharing his story, and congratulate him on winning the MyMAKOplasty contest! 

Low Revision Rates, High Patient Satisfaction Found in Two Year Survivorship Study of MAKO’s RESTORIS® MCK Medial Onlay Implants1

March 6, 2013

A study evaluating MAKOplasty® patients who had partial knee resurfacing on just the medial, or inner, part of their knee and received MAKO’s RESTORIS® MCK Medial Onlay implants showed positive two year results in terms of both patient satisfaction and revision rates, or the need for a revision surgery.

The revision rate was only 0.4%, which is significantly less than other published revision rates.For example, the Swedish Registry reports 4.0% and the UK Registry report a 4.9% two-year revision rate for unicompartmental knee surgery (replacement or resurfacing of only one part of the knee).

The study also found that 89% of the patients evaluated said they are “very satisfied” or “satisfied” two years post-surgery. This compared very favorably to the 75% of total knee replacement patients who were found to be “very satisfied” or “satisfied” in a separate study.2

The MAKOplasty® study evaluated 201 patients of four surgeons, who had a total of 224 knee surgeries.  Enrollment for the study began in March 2009, when the implants used in the study were first released, and the average follow up for the study was at 32 +/- 5 months post-surgery.  Interestingly, the patients were consecutive series for each surgeon, starting with the very first procedure each surgeon performed using this particular implant.

The authors’ conclusion was that the improved accuracy in implant placement that was achieved with the robotic arm assistance used in MAKOplasty® procedures led to superior implant survivorship and patient satisfaction.

  1. Roche, MC, Coon T, Pearle AD, Dounchis J. Two year survivorship of robotically guided medial MCK onlay. 25th Annual Congress of ISTA, October 3-6, 2012, Sydney, Australia.
  2. Noble PC, Conditt MA, Cook KF, Mathis KB. The John Insall Award: Patient expectations affect satisfaction with total knee arthroplasty. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2006;452: 35-43.

Food for Thought: Managing Arthritis Pain with Diet

March 6, 2013

Nutrition plays an integral role in our overall health. People eat foods for their potential anti-aging, anti-oxidant, and cancer-fighting properties. If joint health is a concern to you, studies indicate the foods below may help manage pain and some may even help slow the progression of osteoarthritis.

  • Leafy Greens – Vitamin K is found in leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, collards, and broccoli.  A study funded by the Arthritis Foundation found that people with the highest vitamin K levels had the least severe OA, suggesting that vitamin K may help slow the progression of OA1.
  • Ginger – A study of 261 patients with moderate to severe pain from OA of the knee found a reduction in pain and the need for pain killers in those who took a ginger extract twice daily, compared to those who received a placebo.2
  • Cherries – It’s the anthocyanin compounds found in cherries that give them their color, their powerful antioxidant kick, and their anti-inflammatory and pain blocking properties. Several studies have indicated that consuming cherries or cherry juice may reduce some inflammation markers, and may help relieve OA pain.3,4
  • Fish and other Omega-3 rich foods – According to a University of Bristol study that was published in Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, omega-3-rich diets reduced OA disease by 50% in guinea pigs as compared to a standard diet5. Fatty fish such as salmon are good food sources of Omega-3. Non-meat sources include flaxseed, walnuts, and some vegetable oils including soybean and rapeseed (canola).

People looking for natural means to manage their OA symptoms may want to include these healthy foods as part of a well-balanced diet.

  1. Neogi T, Booth SL, Zhang YQ, Jacques PF, Terkeltaub R, Aliabadi P, Felson DT. Low vitamin K status is associated with osteoarthritis in the hand and knee. Arthritis Rheum. 2006Apr;54(4):1255-61.
  2. Altman RD, Marcussen KC. Effects of a ginger extract on knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2001 Nov;44(11);2531-8.
  3. Kelley KS, Rasooly R, Jacob RA, Kader A, MackeyBE. Consumption of bing sweet cherries lowers circulating concentrations of inflammation markers in healthy men and women. April2006;136(4)981-986. J. Nutr.
  4. Schumacher RH. Double blind cross-over study of the efficacy of a tart cherry juice blend in treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) of the knees. Arthritis Rheum. 2011;63,(10 Suppl):1092.
  5. Knott L., Avery NC, Hollander AP, Tarlton JF. Regulation of osteoarthritis by omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids in a naturally occurring model of bone disease. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage.July2011;19:1150-57.doi:10.1016/j.joca.2011.06.005

Take a Load Off in 2013 – Your Joints Will Thank You!

March 6, 2013

Losing weight is always a popular New Year’s Resolution. If you are struggling to keep on track with a weight loss goal, consider what losing a few pounds can do for your joints.

Here are some facts that just might help motivate you to stick to your weight loss goals:

The risks of being overweight:

  • Being overweight or obese is a known risk factor for osteoarthritis (OA) of the knees and hands. There are also studies that have found an association with hip OA, although it is not as strongly linked to weight1.
  • A recent study found extra weight is linked to rheumatoid arthritis in women2.
  • There is a 9 to 13% increased risk for developing knee or hand OA for each kilogram (2.2 pounds) increase in body weight3.
  • An Australian study reported a three to four-fold increased risk of needing primary knee or hip joint replacement surgery for OA patients with the highest body mass measurements when compared to those with the lowest body mass measurements.  The body mass measurements evaluated included body weight, body mass index, fat mass and percentage of fat4.
  • Obese patients were found to have doubled the rate of infection, and nearly double the long-term surgical revision rate after total knee replacement, as compared to non-obese patients, in a recent literature review published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery5.

The benefits of losing weight:

Even minor weight loss can be an effective preventative health measure for OA1, 3, 9.

  • Every pound lost can take four pounds of pressure off the knees6.
  • Weight loss may help stop the progression of hip and knee osteoarthritis7.
  • A weight reduction of 10% was shown to improve knee function by 28% in a study of women with symptomatic knee OA8.
  • Another study of women with a body mass index of 25 or greater found that losing just 11 pounds can reduce the risk of developing knee OA by half9.
  1. Felson, D. Does excess weight cause osteoarthritis and, if so, why? Ann Rheum Dis. 1996 September;55(9):668–670.
  2. Lu B, Chen C-Y, Hiraki  LT, Costenbader K H, Karlson E.W. Overweight and obesity increase risk of rheumatoid arthritis in women at large prospective study. American Academy of Rheumatology 2012 Annual Meeting, October 2012, Washington, DC.
  3. Cicuttini FM, Baker JR, Spector TD. The association of obesity with osteoarthritis of the hand and knee in women: A twin study. J Rheumatology. 1996 Jul;23(7):1221-6.
  4. Wang Y, Simpson JA, Wluka AE, Teichtahl AJ, English DR, Giles GG, Graves S, M Cicuttini F. Relationship between body adiposity measures and risk of primary knee and hip replacement for osteoarthritis: a prospective cohort study.  Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009, 11:R31 doi:10.1186/ar2636 Published: 5 March 2009
  5. Kerkhoffs GM, Servien E, Dunn W, Dahm D, Bramer JA, Haverkamp  D. The influence of obesity on the complication rate and outcome of total knee arthroplasty: A meta-analysis and systematic literature review. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2012Oct17;94(20):1839-1844. Doi:10.2106/JBJS.K.00820.
  6. Messier S, Gutekunst D, Davis C, DeVita P. Weight loss reduces knee-joint loads in overweight and obese older adults with knee osteoarthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2005Jul;52(7):2026-32.
  7. Retrieved from the Arthritis Foundation website, www.arthritistoday.org
  8. Christensen R, Astrup A, Bliddal H. Weight loss: the treatment of choice for knee osteoarthritis? A randomized trial. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2005Jan;13(1):20-7.
  9. Felson, DT, Zhang Y, Anthony JM, Nairmark A, Anderson JJ; Weight loss reduces the risk for symptomatic knee osteoarthritis in women. The Framingham Study. Annals of Internal Medicine. 1992Apr;116(7):535-539.