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A Joint Effort
to Recovery

Maria Castillo springs to her feet again with the help of Mako® robotic-arm assisted surgery.

To say Maria Castillo wears many different hats would be an understatement – as a mother, grandmother to nine, a songwriter and gardener, with a career as a patient care assistant, the 60-year-old’s figurative closet is lined with hats of nearly every color and style.

The common thread woven into each of these headpieces is her nurturing nature and unwavering dedication, which shines through in her interactions with patients during 12-hour shifts and the care for her beloved garden plants in her free time.

Her heart of gold and constantly moving body do not go unnoticed by her family, peers and, unfortunately, her joints. Decades’ worth of hard work led to osteoarthritis in her right knee, and despite the handful of nonsurgical treatment options she explored, the pain rendered walking unbearable for Maria by 2019. 

Pushing possibilities with technology

After seeking treatment through her primary care physician, Maria was referred to Chris Mellano, M.D., board-certified orthopedic surgeon with advanced training in arthroscopy and joint replacement.

Dr. Mellano met with Maria, assessed her knee, and promptly ordered X-rays and a magnetic resonance image (MRI), which revealed a great deal of cartilage degeneration. Given Maria’s history of treatment options that failed to relieve her pain over time, Dr. Mellano recommended total knee replacement surgery using Mako robotic-arm assisted technology.

“The added technical precision that Mako’s robotic arm offers during complex joint surgery assists surgeons by providing exact measurements,” Dr. Mellano says. “Because it’s precise to the millimeter, it closes the gap between surgical effectiveness and patient satisfaction.”

“I knew Dr. Mellano was going to be my surgeon the minute we met,” says Maria. “His confident recommendation for a knee replacement made me eager to move forward with the surgery.”

Maria was directed to the MemorialCare Joint Replacement Center at Orange Coast Medical Center, which offers a combination of services designed for a fast return to active living, including immediate rehabilitation after surgery and a patient app, Recovery Coach, for post-surgical care and clinical communication from home.

Prior to surgery, a CT scan of Maria’s knee was taken, uploaded to the Mako System software and used to make a 3D model so that Dr. Mellano could plan the surgery ahead of time, knowing exactly how the implant would fit into place.

During surgery, the Mako robotic arm improves the precision and accuracy of joint replacement surgery, while sparing the surrounding healthy bone and ligaments during the minimally invasive procedure. All the while, Mako sends real-time information and images to Dr. Mellano so he can make decisions during the procedure for the best possible outcome.

Mako robotic-arm assisted surgeries have an overall satisfaction rate of 96 percent.*

Specifically tailored solutions
Every joint replacement patient is paired with a patient navigator to provide coordinated care throughout the entire pre- and post-operation process. In the time leading up to her surgery, Maria attended the Total Joint Pre-Operative Education Class with her patient navigator, Winnie Elias, RN, which helped set expectations and goals throughout every step of the way.

“Maria had an incredibly positive outlook on both life and her expectations for healing,” says Winnie. “Her optimism will be an inspiration to others when we bring back our joint reunion classes, where those who have had joint replacement surgery gather and share their stories with those considering the procedure.”

Maria’s frame of mind was just one piece of the puzzle that made for a successful surgery. Through Dr. Mellano’s expertise and the complete spectrum of care offered at the MemorialCare Joint Replacement Center at Orange Coast Medical Center, Maria was standing and walking within a day of her knee replacement procedure.

“I’m so grateful to Dr. Mellano and his team,” Maria beams. “From the day I met him, I knew I’d be back on my feet sooner rather than later.”

With the help of her doctors and the six-week physical therapy regimen through Orange Coast Medical Center’s Outpatient Rehabilitation Center, Maria was back to caring for her patients and cycling through her many hats in just two months – only this time pain free.

To find an orthopedic specialist at the MemorialCare Joint Replacement Center at Orange Coast Medical Center, please click here.

*4th quarter 2019 Stryker Survey Data 


Click here listen to a podcast about the Mako robotic-arm surgical system, presented by Timothy Gibson, M.D., medical director of the MemorialCare Joint Replacement Center at Orange Coast Medical Center.

Maria Castillo continues to be active thanks to the advanced technology and expertise at Orange Coast Medical Center. 

Facts About
Joint Replacement


Hips and knees are the joints replaced most often.



Over 1 million hip and knee replacements are performed in the U.S. each year.



Hip replacements restore function and reduce pain in over 90 percent of patients.



30 percent of adults with arthritis aged 45 to 64 experience joint pain.



More than 83,000 Mako hip and knee procedures have been performed around the world since 2006.



1. “Joint Replacement Surgery.” National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.
2. “Total Joint Replacement Procedures Continue to Increase.” Campbell Clinic Orthopaedics.
3. “Why Knee and Hip Replacement Surgery Is on the Rise.” Orthopedic Institute of Pennsylvania.
4. “Joint Pain and Arthritis.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
5. “Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery.” Windham Hospital.


Surgical Weight
Loss Center

Jessica Robledo, 36, has a history of attempted weight loss under the guidance of her doctor. Also dealing with asthma, sleep apnea and joint pain, her collective health issues and lifelong battle with weight eventually led her to take a final leap for change. Seeking solutions with long-term results, Jessica consulted with her primary physician who referred her to Atif Iqbal, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.A.S.M.B.S., bariatric surgeon and medical director of the Digestive Care Center at Orange Coast Medical Center.

After reviewing her medical history and a body mass index (BMI) of 35, Dr. Iqbal decided Jessica was an ideal candidate for gastric sleeve surgery. The minimally invasive procedure involves removing a large portion of the stomach, reducing the stomach to the size of a banana thereby lessening the amount of food one is able to consume.

Jessica’s surgery was performed at the MemorialCare Surgical Weight Loss Center, which has helped patients overcome obesity issues for 20 years. The Center’s comprehensive program includes nutritional, psychiatric and lifestyle counseling, as well as a support group for patients. With these services readily available, Jessica was motivated to continue to lose weight after surgery.

“Surgery is only the beginning of a patient’s journey. We follow our patients’ aftercare for five years post-surgery to help them maintain a healthy weight. Eighty-five percent of patients are able to keep the weight off three to five years after surgery,” says Dr. Iqbal.

Since her surgery in 2019, Jessica has lost a total of 105 pounds and continues to set goals for herself to sustain a healthy weight and lifestyle.

“I have newfound self-esteem and increased energy. I look forward to what each day holds – at work, at school or while exercising and playing with my daughter,” says Jessica.

For more information, or to see if weight loss surgery is right for you, please call 877-HEALTHY (432-5849) or click here to visit their site.


Hope Continues Here

Edinger Medical Group has provided quality healthcare to the community for over 60 years, and earlier this year, the award-winning medical group raised the bar once again. In partnership with Orange Coast Medical Center, Edinger Medical Group made a powerful difference in the lives of the local senior population by obtaining enough doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for nearly 2,000 patients over the age of 65 by the end of February 2021.

Additionally, the medical group also began vaccinating teachers in March, a key factor in safely reopening our schools according to Cindy Osterhout, former principal at Harbour View Elementary School.

“It is an honor and privilege to join Edinger Medical Group in prioritizing our teachers receiving the vaccine. I have been a patient of Edinger Medical Group for 40 years and could not be prouder of my medical group’s frontline nurses and doctors,” Cindy says.

To learn more about Edinger Medical Group, please call (714) 965-2500 or click here to visit their site.

Stay connected with 
Edinger Medical Group!

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