AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Piedmont Augusta has partnered with OrthoAtlanta to open a new orthopedic practice.

“I was a former mechanical engineer and I used to work for an implant company designing hip and knee implants, and decided eventually that I wanted to do it myself,” said Dr. Zachary Hurst, an orthopedic surgeon at Piedmont OrthoAtlanta.

Dr. Hurst has been using the Stryker MAKO robot for orthopedic surgery at OrthoAtlanta for four years.

Now, he’s looking forward to bringing it to the CSRA.

“We position the implant where we want it, and then intra-operatively the robot lets us test the soft-tissue tension,” he said. “So, with this information, we’re able to position the implant in a way that’s more natural to a patient’s body and anatomy.”

This could create more precise, safer total or partial knee and hip replacement surgeries.

“It allows us to adjust the positioning of the implant within half a millimeter, so that’s thinner than a credit card in your wallet, and we’re able to make those fine-tuned adjustments with the robot,” Dr. Hurst said. “That also prevents us from cutting arteries, and different major vessels or ligaments during surgery.”

This is good news for patients.

“For our patients, we’ve noticed a shorter recovery time and we find that our patients have less pain after because we have to do less of those soft tissue releases,” he said.

According to the U.S. Orthopedic Market Report, more than 18.5 million orthopedic procedures were performed last year.

Dr. Hurst believes this technology will provide the best outcomes for those procedures in our area.

“I think it’s going to let us advance what we can do with surgeries,” he said. “Hopefully we see better outcomes, we’re hoping that the implants will last longer. Instead of twenty years, hopefully thirty years or more. And we’re hoping to minimize any complications that we do have by really perfecting that placement of the implants, and doing safer surgeries with this technology.”