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Brad’s Story: Robotic Surgery

Brad’s Story: Robotic Surgery Resolved Chronic Knee Pain Quickly

Brad has dealt with knee pain for many years, but because of his otherwise good health, addressing the cause of his pain never seemed to be urgent.

Brad managed his knee pain by receiving regular pain relieving injections from his medical provider, which alleviated enough of his pain to maintain his active lifestyle. However, at an appointment this past year, his provider urged him to consider whether it was finally time for surgery.

“In the 60 years since I was born, I have never been to the hospital for my own needs,” says Brad. “Because of that, I was nervous and put off the knee procedure as long as possible. However, the physician’s assistant I have been seeing for years recommended a surgeon at El Camino Health and assured me I would have nothing to be worried about.”

Brad was referred to orthopedic surgeon Akira Yamamoto, MD, for a total knee replacement surgery. Dr. Yamamoto was described as the best in the area and was one of the only surgeons at the time using robotic technology to assist with joint replacement.

Stryker’s Mako System utilizes CT-based 3-D modeling of bone anatomy to help surgeons create a personalized surgical plan and identify the implant orientation and alignment based on each patient’s unique anatomy. The procedure is an innovative approach allowing a surgeon greater surgical precision, meaning less pain, a shorter hospital stay and a faster overall recovery for patients.

“The work Dr. Yamamoto did was amazing,” remembers Brad. “Dr. Yamamoto is such a skilled surgeon and the new Mako procedure helped me get back to my life very quickly.”

“I went in for my procedure in the morning and that same day I was walking and being sent home. The team at El Camino helped me wean off of pain medication within a week and I was back at work full time after only two weeks off. It was not only Dr. Yamamoto and the procedure, but all of the support I had from El Camino Health team, that helped make this possible,” continues Brad.

For the first week, a physical therapist came to Brad’s house every day, and by the second week, he was mobile enough to go to physical therapy instead of having them come to him.

“I just recently finished up physical therapy and it’s amazing. I can hike with my wife again,” Brad says. “We love hiking but because of my knee pain it had been a few years since our last hike. We went on one our favorite hikes the other day and I just thought – wow, what a significant day.”

Brad continues, “I would recommend Dr. Yamamoto, El Camino Health and the Mako procedure to anyone needing a knee replacement. I have my life back. I only wish I had done it sooner!”