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Pickering pioneers robotics in hip, knee replacement surgery

Jun. 24, 2022

Source: Rankin County News by Lisa Monti

Dr. Trevor Pickering of The Surgery Center at Mississippi Sports Medicine in Flowood stands in an operating room with the ROSA surgical robot he uses for knee and hip replacements.

Just about every week, Dr. Trevor Pickering, an orthopedic surgeon at The Surgery Center at Mississippi Sports Medicine in Flowood, is visited by fellow surgeons from all over the country who want to learn about pioneering robotic equipment and procedures Pickering uses for knee and hip replacements.

Pickering also travels the country training other surgeons in the specialized robotics he uses to treat his patients in Mississippi.

Over the last 14 years, Pickering has performed more than 800 full and partial knee replacements, the last three years using ROSA robotics developed by Zimmer Biomet. This year, he and his team at The Surgery Center performed the first ROSA robotic hip replacement in the United States.

"I got into robotics because I was interested in this particular technology, Pickering said of the ROSA platform. "Other earlier versions used in orthopedics were very limited and didn't help us achieve the goals we wanted. But when ROSA came out, I saw it was far superior and more advanced than prior robotics. I really got onboard and worked with the knee replacement system to the point when the hip application was ready, ROSA asked me to help evaluate and introduce it."

As a specialist in knee and hip replacement, Pickering said, "I have people coming to me all the time asking to evaluate new technology. It's very rare I find something as useful and beneficial for my patients and surgeons" as ROSA.

After months of training, he and his team were prepared for the pioneering hip replacement surgery earlier this year.

"When the time came, the team was ready and we were able to bring ROSA hip replacement to the state of Mississippi. It went beautifully," he said.

Pickering graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and received his Master's degree from Columbia University in New York City. While working on his Ph.D. at Columbia, he completed studies in Oxford, England, and Paris. Pickering earned his Doctor of Medicine at Duke University.

Pickering's professional training in orthopedic surgery includes a completed Orthopedic Surgery Residency at Duke University Medical Center in 2007 and a Fellowship in total joint replacement at the Center for Hip and Knee Surgery in Mooresville, Ind.

He has published articles and book chapters on joint replacement and has done research in the long-term outcomes of hip and knee replacement, pain management, blood conservation and minimally invasive surgical techniques.

"Robotics technology has been used for years in gynecology and urology procedures. By the time the technology was available in orthopedics, it was mature, Pickering said. "So we benefited from having a better understanding of its applications over the last several decades.

Pickering has been doing outpatient joint replacements for more than eight years and in the new facility in Flowood for almost three years. "This is one of the largest orthopedic outpatient centers in the nation and we are continuing to expand," he said.

"When it comes to joint replacement in orthopedics, the technical challenge is to get all of pieces of the joint replacement in the exact position so that we can be sure that the position will not change, that the joint will not come out of socket and there won't be wear and tear of the joint over the years.

Robotics allows the surgeon to "map" out the patient's hip and help guide the exact implants.

"There are several significant benefits to the patient with ROSA technology, Pickering said.

The robotic-assisted surgery is done on an outpatient basis, so patients go home the same day to begin their recovery. Recovery is faster and generally without complications.

Pickering was the first in the southeast region of the country to perform hip replacement surgery from the front of the body rather than the rear. "You don't have to cut tendon and muscle, so patients recover quicker and it makes the replacement inherently more stable," he said.

"The Surgery Center at Mississippi Sports Medicine has the highest volume of robotic-assisted total joint replacement surgeries in Mississippi," said Pickering. "We are pioneers in our joint replacements and have done a good job trying to make the surgical experience better for our patients.

Pickering said providing patients the benefits of robotics in hip and knee replacements is his passion.

"I get great satisfaction seeing patients do better," he said. "If this technology helps me get patients better quicker, that's why I'm interested in it.


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