Pre-planning and surgical precision are driving physician acceptance and market adoption of robotic-assisted technology in orthopedics.
Carolyn Fahey chooses her words carefully when discussing her recent joint replacement journey. She avoids questions like “what if” and phrases like “should have,” though both are underlying themes, lurking furtively behind her narrative.
A bit of pertinent background to begin: Fahey was an operating room nurse for 20 years who spent all day on her feet. Her hobbies included biking, hiking, and running.
Fahey’s life was running pretty smoothly until the day she felt the first pang of pain in her hip. She had just finished a race at the time.
“The first time I experienced hip pain was after a race,” she recalled in a Facebook video. “I didn’t think anything of it.”
Cue the first round of what ifs: What if she hadn’t been in that race? And what if she had been more concerned about the pain?
As Fahey further explains in her video, “I thought it [the pain] would go away so I kept pushing myself at work and with my weekly exercise routine, but I found myself slowing down. My range of motion kept decreasing and I couldn’t do the things I used to do.
”Insert a “should have” here: As a nurse, Fahey should have known better than to push through hip pain, however slight.
Perhaps Fahey should have known better. (Warning—more “what ifs” coming) But what if she had? What if she had recognized her hip pain was far more serious than she imagined? Would she have saved herself a non-work-related visit to the OR?
Does it really matter anymore? By the time Fahey consulted an orthopedic specialist, her hip was too far gone to save. Arthritis had worn down the cartilage to nothing, creating bone-on-bone contact that made almost any activity—even sleeping—an excruciating experience. Her only option at that point was a total hip replacement.
By Michael Barbella | Orthopedic Design & Technology
Image Credit: Michael Barbella / ODT