Frye introduces new treatment option for joint pain

HICKORY — Frye Regional Medical Center, a Duke LifePoint hospital, recently introduced a new treatment option for joint pain that uses Mako robotic technology for total knee, partial knee and total hip replacement.

Frye Regional Medical Center is the only hospital in the Catawba Valley region to offer the robotic-arm assisted procedure — sometimes called MAKOplasty — which allows surgeons to treat patients with greater precision.

Michael Seel, MD, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, successfully performed the region’s first robotic-arm assisted total knee replacement with the new technology on Aug. 31 at Frye Regional Medical Center. Additionally, he performed the hospital’s first Mako total hip replacement procedure earlier this month.

Dr. Seel recently relocated to the area from Pittsburgh,  where he performed several hundred robotic-arm assisted hip and knee replacement surgeries using Mako technology. In addition to seeing patients at FryeCare Orthopedics & Neurosurgery in Hickory, Seel is medical director of orthopedics at Frye Regional Medical Center.

People are also reading…

“We are proud to be the first and only hospital in the region to offer this option to patients with joint pain caused by arthritis or injury,” Seel said. “With robotic technology, we are able to perform surgery with more precision. For some patients, this can mean less soft tissue damage; for others, greater bone preservation. The goal is for our patients to have relief from their pain, regain mobility, and return to the activities they love.”

Robotic-assisted surgery is a new approach to joint replacement that offers the potential for a higher level of patient-specific implant alignment and positioning. The technology allows orthopedic surgeons to create a 3D plan and perform joint replacement procedures using a physician-controlled robotic arm that helps the surgeon execute the procedure with a high degree of accuracy.

“The system’s 3D CT technology allows me to create a personalized plan based on each patient’s unique anatomy before entering the operating room,” Seel said. “During surgery, I can validate that plan and make any necessary adjustments while guiding the robotic arm to execute that plan with a high level of accuracy and predictability.”

In addition to Seel, the following orthopedic surgeons are specially trained and credentialed to perform robotic-arm assisted joint replacement procedures at Frye Regional Medical Center: Phillip Bostian, MD, and Reed Russell, DO.

To learn more or take a free joint pain assessment, visit