SPECIAL REPORT: Robotic-Arm assisted surgery

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Roy Clement spent his life serving our country in Vietnam, Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"When I first came in and I trained, I was airborne."

When Roy retired as a Command Sergeant Major, he had been honored with numerous awards including two Bronze Stars, the Kuwait Liberation Medal, the Army Commendation, and Army Achievement Medals.

"No complaining, nothing's going to keep him down," explained Nicole, Roy's wife.

Over the years, Roy noticed a pain in his hip, but he would just take some medicine and move on.

"I would take two Aleve and go play ball, that was three/four times a week"

"It would keep him up in the middle of the night and we had to buy a heating pad for him to sleep on, but he tossed and turned a lot," said Nicole.

When the medicine didn't seem to work anymore, Roy and his doctor looked at a relatively new surgery where a robotic arm helps his surgeon. They take a CT Scan and make a 3D model. The machine then helps calculate the precise angles and shows them exactly where the damaged area is as Dr. Sameer Badarudeen, with The Medical Center explains:

"What the robot does is that it will guide me in terms of where I need to make the cut in order to place the implant."

If there's green on the screen they need to take more, white means stop, and if it turns red they've taken a little too much. However, the robotic arm won't let them go more than 1.2 millimeters too deep.

"I don't have to worry about how deep I'm going because once I get to the right depth, I can see visually the green will change to white, and even if, for instance, if I close my eyes and still do it, it will stop me at that point after I get to the red zone," said Dr. Badarudeen.

The machine also won't let the doctor go past the area that needs to be fixed. Right now they're doing this surgery for partial knee replacement and full hip replacement. Doctors say this surgery helps the repaired area feel more natural.

"When all is said and done, my two feet are facing forward, both my legs are the same length and I won't have any issues with angles, one foot coming out this way or this way," explained Roy.

Dr. Badarudeen says he sees this kind of technology as the future of the medical profession.

"This will be the way we will be doing surgeries; in 5 or 10 years everywhere will have this."

As for Roy, he's back in the gym and he says his pain has diminished completely.

"I woke up in recovery and was pain-free, absolutely it went from a 9 and like I said when I woke up in recovery there was no pain in my hip at all."

"He woke up asking 'where's my wife, I want my wife,' but I knew he felt fine then. He said he didn't feel any more pain, so I knew we made the right decision," said Nicole.

Now his goal is to get back on the racquetball court.

"I used to play a lot of racquetball and really one of my goals is to get back on the court and play racquetball. I don't know if I'll ever be able to get back to the level I was at, but I'd like to get back in there and be competitive again."

Since our interview, Roy says he's been back on the racketball court a few times.

The Medical Center is one of three hospitals in Kentucky to have this technology, the others are in Louisville and Covington.

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