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Mako Knee Replacement: How It Works, Why It Is Preferred, and Who Qualifies?

Blue Ridge Region / 29 Sep 2023

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by EmergeOrtho
Mako Knee Replacement: How It Works, Why It Is Preferred, and Who Qualifies?

Mako knee replacement, also known as MAKOplasty, is one of the latest technological advancements applied by orthopedic surgeons to increase the precision of minimally invasive knee surgery. Performed with the use of robotics, the surgery has many immediate and long-term advantages over traditional partial knee replacement surgery. If you have been told you need a knee joint replacement, you should consider Mako knee replacement surgery as many patients who qualify for traditional knee replacement surgery are good candidates.

How Does MAKOplasty® Surgery Work?

MAKOplasty® surgery is an advanced, minimally invasive robotic method to replace only part of a patient’s knee. Unlike traditional knee surgery, Mako orthopedic surgeons use precise robotic arms as extensions of their limbs, relying on the machine’s exact movements for greater accuracy.

 image of male and female from the waist down jogging side by side with trees in the background

Using CT scans, the robotic arm is guided by 3D images of the surgical area. Your knee specialist, with the help of the robotic arm, performs part of the procedure that requires a steady hand and precise navigation, including:

  • Preparing the knee bone
  • Inserting the implant
  • Aligning the implant
  • Securing the implant to the joint
  • Checking for the right fit

Orthopedic surgeons performing Mako robot surgery are specifically trained and certified in the procedure. The surgery is powered by the RIO® Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic System and has been approved by the FDA. See the attached video for more details on how MAKOplasty® works.


Why Is Robotic Knee Replacement Preferred?

The precision of the robotic arm used in robotic knee surgery has positively impacted both surgical accuracy and patient recovery and outcomes. Surgeons performing Mako knee replacement and patients undergoing the surgery benefit from a number of key advantages over standard knee replacement surgeries:

  • Less invasive: smaller incision
  • More precise resurfacing of the damaged part of the knee only
  • Less trauma to the tissue and bone
  • Preservation of healthy tissue and bone
  • Quicker procedures, often performed as outpatient surgeries
  • More rapid relief from pain
  • Better patient outcomes: less rehab and fewer readmissions
  • More natural feeling knee following surgery
  • Fewer complications and fewer return visits to the doctor
  • Higher patient satisfaction
  • Faster return to daily activities
  • Lower long-term costs

While individual cases will vary, it has been verified that over 90% of MAKOplasty® implants last more than 10 years. And patients who have undergone partial replacement robotic surgery remain eligible for full knee replacement surgeries in the future because much of the healthy tissue and bone will have been preserved.

Who Qualifies as a Good Candidate for Mako Robotics Surgery?

Most patient candidates for a traditional partial knee joint replacement procedure will qualify for a robotic arm-assisted procedure. You may be a good candidate if you experience some of the following:

  • Failure to respond well to nonsurgical knee treatments, including injections, physical therapy, activity modification, and nonsteroidal medication
  • Continued, persistent pain or stiffness during physical activity
  • Early to mid-stage knee arthritis in one or two of the following knee compartments: medial (inner), patellofemoral (front), or lateral (outer)
  • Pain or stiffness when standing from a sitting position
  • Diseases such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, avascular necrosis, and traumatic arthritis

If you are experiencing any of these issues, consider seeing an orthopedic surgeon who can help diagnose your condition and determine your eligibility for robotic surgery.

Knee pain can be debilitating and can affect not only your daily activities but also your overall health and well-being. Once you decide to seek help to relieve your pain, our team of knee surgeons is here to help you get back to living your active life. Our precision medical providers are board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedists, specializing in the latest, state-of-the-art, nonsurgical and surgical knee treatments and therapies personalized to your exact conditions.

Request an Appointment with EmergeOrtho—Blue Ridge Region and Emerge Stronger, Healthier, and Better with the help of our knee specialists.

A New Level Of Orthopedic Care Has Emerged

As our patient, you will benefit from a full range of orthopedic services, specialties and technologies, including physical and hand therapy, advanced imaging services, and urgent care walk-in services providing immediate diagnosis and treatment for urgent orthopedic conditions.

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