POSTED: Friday, September 14, 2012 - 8:00am
UPDATED: Friday, September 14, 2012 - 8:03am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Jesus Mares stands next to Dr. Raul Marquez smiling.
Four weeks ago, standing like this wasn't an easy feat.
Mares has moderate arthritis, but after knee surgery, he is on the road to living a pain free life.
"Well, it was just a constant pain I had on my knee. And you know, it gets to where it was just a bother to have it there," Mares says.
A bother Mares could stand no longer.
"I usually like to go dancing a lot, and that was one of my main problems. I can't dance at all," he says.
Luckily for him, a new surgery procedure is available, and it's done with the help of a robot.
Meet RIO, a robotic arm the doctor guides during partial knee surgeries.
"We used to tell the patient, wait until you have enough pain and your knee is bad enough so we can do the whole knee," says orthopedic surgeon Dr. Raul Marquez.
With RIO, doctors are able to operate on only the half of the knee with the problem.
This allows for less scar tissue, a faster surgery, and a much shorter rehabilitation time.
Mares went in for his surgery and was up and walking the next day.
The surgery even allowed him to fulfill his passion only two weeks later.
"On Saturday was my birthday, I am 71 and I went dancing. and I guess that is my main goal I guess," chuckles Mares.
The partial knee surgery is expected to be fully effective for up to 15 years.