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Northern Arizona Surgeons Leading Region in Robotic-Assisted Knee Replacements

The introduction of an innovative precision surgical procedure – OMNIBotics – has put the Surgery Center, located at Flagstaff Bone & Joint offices, at the forefront of total personalized knee replacement surgery in Northern Arizona.

Defined, OMNIBotics is a robotic-assisted state-of-the-art surgical platform that combines specialized tools and patented technology with robotics so that skilled surgeons can place and fit joint implants with much greater accuracy than was possible in conventional surgery.

Knee replacement operations using OMNIBotics have been available at the Surgery Center since April. That is when sophisticated equipment arrived, according to Victoria Rowell, director of marketing and business development at Flagstaff Bone & Joint.

The lead surgeon in performing OMNIBotics total knee replacements is Amber Randall, M.D. Randall has been performing total knee replacements – 6,000 since she joined Flagstaff Bone & Joint in 2005, and another 5,000 total hip replacements. More than 1,800 were robotic-assisted surgeries.

Prior to bringing this latest sophisticated technology to Flagstaff, Randall had to have her patients check into an orthopedic hospital in Phoenix where she could complete the operation. However, since April, knee replacements have been performed onsite at the new outpatient Surgery Center in Flagstaff at 501 N. Switzer Canyon Dr.

“I started using the OMNIBotics robotic-assisted total knee replacement system in the fall of 2017,” she said. “Since that time, I have performed over 1,800 operations. I am happy to report we have data showing outstanding patient outcomes. The OMNIBotics procedure has an overall patient satisfaction rating above 96%, compared to 81% from traditional methods.”

That rating was based on one-year clinical outcomes from a multicenter study.

Randall said she and Brianna Patti, M.D., use OMNIBotics Bone Morphing technology to produce a 3-D model of the patient’s knee at the start of the surgery.

Robotic-assisted surgery aids surgeons in fitting and positioning replacement components with precision. The actual surgery takes 30 to 60 minutes. To date, the youngest patients to undergo the replacement surgery were in their 30s, while the oldest were in their 90s.

Most costs for robotic-assisted knee replacement surgery are covered by almost all insurance plans and policies.

Unique in Northern Arizona
Though other surgery centers north of Phoenix have expressed interest in the OmniBotics robotics process, Randall and her team are the only ones currently performing the procedures in Northern Arizona. Randall has extensive experience in the technology of both OMNIBotics and BalanceBot robotic devices, and data reveal that she is the highest-rated total joint surgeon in the region, according to online Google ratings and research.

Randall earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees at Harvard University, and then completed the Otto E. Aufranc Fellowship in total joint arthroplasty at the New England Baptist Hospital in Boston. She is board-certified with the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. In addition, she holds the distinction of being a global educator in the use of robotic technology and serves as a mentor to surgeons throughout the country.

The other surgeon performing knee replacements at Flagstaff Bone & Joint, Dr. Patti, joined the organization in 2018. Patti earned an undergraduate degree at Washington University in St. Louis. She completed a medical degree at the University of Colorado Anschutz School of Medicine in Aurora and completed additional advanced training in orthopaedic surgery in Akron, Ohio. She received additional training through a fellowship at the University of New Mexico Medical School in Albuquerque.

Randall sees patients at the Flagstaff clinic. Patti will work with patients at her Flagstaff, Kingman, Sedona and Cottonwood offices. Their clinic hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. They both use the Omnibotics system.

Randall and Patti are members of a large medical and professional staff at Flagstaff Bone & Joint. Nine physicians make up the cadre that specializes in knee, shoulder and hip joint replacement and foot, ankle, spine and hand surgery.

Other professionals include nurse practitioners, certified physician assistants, pre-operative/post-anesthesia care unit nurses, operating room nurses, surgical scrub and radiology technicians, and physical and occupational therapists.

The two firms – Flagstaff Bone and Joint and the Surgery Center – are owned by physician partners. The two companies have a cumulative staff of 97 employees.

Success and growth at Flagstaff Bone & Joint have been such that management recently announced plans to install state-of-the-art equipment to assist spine surgeons in their future medical procedures.

Beyond that, the firm has outgrown its medical office facilities. Because of such growth, Flagstaff Bone & Joint earlier purchased land adjacent to the current ambulatory surgical center, located at 525 N. Switzer Canyon. Construction began in September on a new medical office, which is expected to be completed in about a year.

“We are eager to move into our beautiful orthopedic medical campus in the heart of Flagstaff,” Rowell said. FBN

By Ray Newton, FBN

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