Grand Strand surgeon performs first AI-assisted hip surgery in South Carolina

Dr. Peter Ramsey with OrthoSC said the new technology is not coming for his job but making it easier.
Published: Jul. 24, 2023 at 7:50 AM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - An orthopedic surgeon in the Grand Strand performed the first artificial intelligence-assisted hip replacement surgery in South Carolina.

Dr. Peter Ramsey with OrthoSC said the new technology is not coming for his job but making it easier.

“I think it’s important to know this is a machine that isn’t learning and interacting from me nor is it going to take over during the surgery, Ramsey said. “We call it an enabling technology that helps me do my job faster and better.”

Ramsey said the AI works like an automatic ruler.

Typically, he would have to make measurements himself before operating on a hip.

Now, he said the AI machine can read an X-ray, plot the points he needs and make the measurements itself in an instant.

Ramsey said the AI technology is not proven to give patients a faster recovery time but allows him to work quicker and more accurately.

“Having a technology that does this so fast and accurately gives me the confidence I need to give a great hip replacement,” Ramsey said. “Also knowing I’ve given that patient a great outcome before they leave the operating room.”

Ramsey said he’s performed more than a dozen AI-assisted hip replacement surgeries since the first one in March.

Ballroom dancer Rosemary Farrell, 73, was the first patient to receive the AI-assisted hip surgery and said she wasn’t nervous at all and happy with the results.

“I thought it was so cool,” Farrell said. “You don’t have to worry about anything. You just have faith in your doctors and let it be. It just works so well, and this hip is just great.”

Farrell said she walked out of the hospital the same day and was able to get back to the song and dance group, the Palmetto Performers, she started within a little more than a month.

Farrell said with the support from Ramsey, physical therapists and dance instructors, she had a positive experience and plans to get her right hip replaced in December.