New Knees, Happy Hips

Sep 04, 2020Health Focus, Health Matters for Women

Like most people who’ve had a hip or knee replacement—which replaces an arthritic or damaged joint with an artificial implant—60-year-old Walt Renton will tell you that he feels more mobile than he has in years.

Before Mr. Renton had the knee surgery, just walking up a flight of stairs was painful. Now he can walk up and down hills, chase horses, and get out and about and it doesn’t hurt. In Mr. Renton’s case, as in many cases, replacing a knee or hip—especially using the latest techniques and technologies—can restore the ability to get up and go.

Recent improvements in technology and surgical techniques have given us the ability to perform these kinds of procedures much more effectively. The latest advancements in joint replacement surgery have significantly transformed the way knee & hip reconstruction is performed.

Bingham Memorial Hospital (BMH) was the first hospital in Eastern Idaho to offer knee and hip surgeries with Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery System, and they are still the only team using the Mako. Bingham is proud to have four extremely talented orthopedic surgeons who are trained on the Mako: David Peterson, DO; Nathan Richardson, MD; Benjamin Allen, MD; and, Nicholas Pearson, DO.

Mako robotic-arm assisted surgery has dramatically changed the way joint replacement procedures are performed by providing each patient with a personalized surgical experience based on their specific diagnosis and anatomy. Using a virtual 3D model, the Mako System allows surgeons to create each patient’s surgical plan pre-operatively, before the patient even enters the operating room. During surgery, the surgeon can validate that plan and make any necessary adjustments while guiding the robotic-arm to execute the procedure exactly as planned. It’s exciting to be able to offer this transformative technology to perform knee and hip replacements to the patients of Eastern Idaho.”

Some of the other latest advances include:

Computer-guided surgery. Sensors are placed on the patient’s body and a computer assists with navigation so the surgeon can place the implant with greater accuracy and precision.

Minimally-invasive techniques. Using minimally-invasive surgical techniques today involves much smaller incisions, causing less muscle injury and soft tissue damage.

Material upgrades. Many of the advances in joint replacement result from the materials used to create the artificial joints. For example, hip replacements can be performed using components made of metal, ceramic or high-tech plastic, all of which can last 20-30 years or more.

Better fit. The companies that manufacture hip and knee replacement components today offer a broad range of sizes and shapes that fit almost anyone, which wasn’t always the case. Many women used to experience discomfort after knee replacement surgery—but now don’t—because standard components often were slightly too big and hung off the bone a bit, causing pain.

Better pain management and physical therapy. Newer pain treatment options, such as nerve blocks, can help decrease the perception of pain—helping patients participate more actively in the rehabilitation needed for a complete recovery. More aggressive physical therapy also helps patients get back to regular activities, even exercise, much sooner than in the past.

And that’s not all. We’re always looking for new treatment approaches, materials and techniques, all of which help surgeons achieve the best possible results. In the early days of knee replacement, one-size-fits-all implants replicated a simple hinge. Now, more than 150 types of implants, constructed from durable materials like titanium and high-tech plastic, are made to accommodate patient characteristics and mimic the roll-and-glide motion of the joint.

New Knee or Hip, Pain-Free

Suffering from persistent knee or hip pain or both? Please feel free to reach out to one of our Mako-Certified Providers to schedule an appointment.

Benjamin J. Allen, MD

As an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist, Dr. Allen treats sports-related injuries and is Mako-Certified for joint replacement for the knee. He is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with advanced fellowship training in sports medicine, and he covers the Idaho State University Athletics where he serves as the Head Team Orthopedic Surgeon.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Allen, please call (208) 239-8000. He sees patients in Pocatello, Blackfoot, and American Falls.

Nicholas B. Pearson, DO

As an orthopedic surgeons, Dr. Pearson specializes in arthritis and minimally invasive joint replacement for the elobow, knee, and hip, and is a Mako-certified provider. He is fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon with a specialty in sports medicine.

He sees patients in Blackfoot and Idaho Falls. To schedule an appointment, please call (208) 785-2220.

David J. Peterson, DO

As a leading orthopedic surgeon in Eastern Idaho, David Peterson, DO, specializes in arthritis and minimally invasive joint replacement for the knee and hip. He is board certified in orthopedics and fellowship trained in total knee replacement.

Dr. Peterson sees patients in Pocatello, Blackfoot, and Idaho Falls. If you have questions about your knee or hip health, or are ready to find relief from constant knee or hip pain, call (208) 782-2999 to schedule an appointment.

Nathan Richardson, MD

Dr. Richardson has highly advanced training for shoulder and elbow surgeries and is constantly researching new treatment approaches, materials, and techniques, all for better patient outcomes. As a leading orthopedic shoulder surgeon in Eastern Idaho who is a Mak-certified provider, his reputation as an excellent and extremely experienced shoulder surgeon makes him one of the most sought after doctors in the region.

For more information about how Dr. Richardson can help you with your shoulder or elbow pain, call (208) 239-8000 or click here. He sees patients in Pocatello and Soda Springs.

Learn more about the Mako System by visiting:

Our content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.