Bootscooting instructor the first patient treated by orthopaedic robot

Back on his feet: bootscooting instructor Glenn Dale.Picture: Andrew Ritchie           d443741
Back on his feet: bootscooting instructor Glenn Dale.Picture: Andrew Ritchie         d443741

BOOTSCOOTING instructor Glenn Dale said he was line dancing less than three weeks after a partial knee replacement.

In an Australian first, the mobile mechanic was the first patient treated by an orthopaedic robot at St John of God Subiaco Hospital (SJOGSH) earlier this year.

“I’ve been line dancing for 19 years which is a double whammy because there is a lot of jumping in dancing and lot of kneeling in mechanics,” Mr Dale said.

“I put up with pain for three years until it got to the point where if I didn’t do something I was going to end up cripple.”

Mr Dale said he taught four classes.

The 55-year-old had a “very quick” recovery and could kneel again five months later.

“This technology wasn’t really around five years ago so I’m really glad I waited to have it done,” he said.

“I would have been left with full knee replacement and that would be more painful and it’s about three months off work.”

Mr Dale said he was unsettled about the thought of an operation at first but now he could not wait to have his right knee done.

“I felt a little bit like a guinea pig when it came time for me to have scans done to program the robot because I had so many people around looking at what was being done.”

SJOGSH chief executive Lachlan Henderson said the $1 million robot had treated more than 20 people since April.

“The main benefits of the interactive orthopaedic robot are better accuracy, reduced pain after the procedure and better recovery and in the case of the first patient, it’s an earlier return for patients to do the things they like best, such as boot- scooting,” Dr Henderson said.

He said despite technological advancement, healthcare relied on human interaction.