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Dickinson Welcomes New Orthopaedic Robot

Dickinson Welcomes New Orthopaedic Robot

CHI St. Alexius Health Dickinson is the first hospital in western North Dakota to offer Stryker’s Mako SmartRobotics™ System for orthopaedic surgeries. This advancement in joint replacement surgery transforms the way total knee, partial knee and total hip replacements are performed by combining three key components into one platform that can improve patient outcomes for these procedures. “For some patients, this can mean less soft tissue damage; for others, greater bone preservation,” explains Dr. Derrick Cote, orthopedic surgeon with The Bone & Joint Center at CHI St. Alexius Health Dickinson.

The Mako System’s 3D CT component allows the surgeon to create a personalized plan based on each patient’s unique anatomy before even entering the operating room. During surgery, the surgeon can validate that plan and make any necessary adjustments while guiding the robotic arm to execute that plan.

According to Dr. Cote, “Surgical robots do not replace a surgeon’s role in the operating room at all – the surgeon makes all the decisions and is controlling the robot’s movements. The Mako robot serves as an extension of a surgeon’s hands, with even further precision and control than even the best surgeon could produce unassisted. What we as surgeons are looking for is to provide reproducible results, and robotic technology helps us to do just that. Robot-assisted surgery will soon be the standard in care for most—if not all—orthopaedic surgeries, so it’s exciting to be able to offer this transformative technology to our patients in Dickinson today.” 

By 2030, total knee replacements in the United States are expected to increase 189% and total hip replacement surgeries are projected to grow 171%. This reality motivated the Board of Directors at the CHI St. Alexius Health Dickinson Foundation to prioritize the purchase of the Stryker Mako for the hospital. “After working closely with the community to build a new hospital and raising funds for several exciting purchases, including state-of-the-art radiology equipment, the board learned about this revolutionary robotic equipment that would be a game-changer for patients requiring joint replacement surgery,” explains Foundation Director Marya Skaare. “After several years of planning and fundraising, we were able to raise the funds and finally bring the robot to Dickinson.”

With generous community support, the Foundation welcomed the Stryker Mako to the hospital, and Dr. Cote recently completed his certification on the new equipment. “The robot technology is phenomenal and we are excited to provide the highest level of precision to our joint replacement patients,” said Carmin Erickson, Director of Surgical Services. “Dr. Cote is exceptional at what he does and he mastered the technology quickly, allowing us to perform the first surgery using the Mako on January 18.”

“We are proud to be the first facility in our region to make use of this highly advanced robotic technology,” said DeeAnna Opstedahl, Interim President at CHI St. Alexius Health Dickinson. “This addition to our orthopaedic service line demonstrates our continued commitment to providing outstanding healthcare throughout the region.”


About the Mako SmartRobotics™ System
To read more about the Stryker Mako System robotic-arm assisted technology for use in total knee, partial knee and total hip replacements, click here. 

About CHI St. Alexius Health Dickinson
CHI St. Alexius Health Dickinson Medical Center located in Dickinson, ND, is a 25-bed, Critical Access Hospital with a Level IV Trauma Center accredited by the American College of Surgeons and The Joint Commission (TJC). CHI St. Alexius Health constructed a new, state-of-the-art replacement hospital facility which opened in 2014. The hospital and adjacent medical clinic are located in the same facility at 2500 Fairway Street in Dickinson. It also administers clinic services at the rural family clinic in Beach, ND. CHI St. Alexius Health Dickinson is part of CommonSpirit Health, a nonprofit, Catholic health system created in February 2019 by Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health.