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Joint replacements, especially involving knees, are some of the most common and safest surgical procedures performed. Robotic assistance makes them even safer for patients. MAKOplasty is surgery performed with the MAKO robotic arm. Surgeons use it to plan and implement minimally invasive knee and hip replacement surgeries.
Robotic surgery, or, more accurately, robotic-assisted surgery, is a procedure involving a surgeon controlling a robotic arm. The arm performs the operation using small incisions and tools, while the surgeon controls it through a computer.
The first robotic procedures occurred in the 1980s—including the first robotic total knee arthroplasty performed in the United Kingdom in 1988—and they have evolved considerably since then. There are many reasons surgeons use a robotic arm:
Patients often prefer robotic-assisted surgery for all of the same reasons. It leaves less room for error; allows for minimally invasive, accurate procedures; and generally results in better outcomes and quicker recovery times.
MAKOplasty is surgery conducted with MAKO robotic systems. The MAKO systems are made by Stryker, a medical technology company, and are used to assist in all kinds of orthopedic surgeries. These include joint replacement, foot and ankle surgery, spine surgery, trauma treatment, and more.
Whether used for a knee or hip replacement procedure, the MAKO robotic surgery system begins with an individualized treatment plan. Following a CT scan of the joint, the surgeon uses a 3D model of it to plan the details. These include the selection and size of the artificial component and how they will place and position it in the joint space.
In the first part of the surgery, the surgeon uses the robotic arm to remove damaged tissue, such as bone and cartilage that has deteriorated due to arthritis. Once they have removed the diseased tissue, the surgeon can use the robotic arm to place and situate the artificial joint.
During the procedure, the MAKO arm sends data to the surgeon. This allows the physician to assess the progress of the surgery and make adjustments as needed. It also ensures that the surgeon stays within a boundary defined by the surgical plan.
According to a study of MAKOplasty software, the system produces accurate and reproducible measurements used in preparation for a total knee replacement. This is an essential preparatory part of joint replacement that ensures the procedure goes smoothly and the implant is positioned correctly.
There are many benefits of MAKO-assisted joint replacements, according to Stryker and studies:
North Carolina Specialty Hospital is pleased to offer patients the option of robotic surgery using the MAKO system. To learn more about it and find out if you are a good candidate for hip or knee replacement, contact us to request an appointment with an orthopedic joint specialist.
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