When you hear the words “robotic knee replacement,” you might have visions of getting a metal knee that resembles something from a science fiction movie. Although that is not exactly what happens, the methods used by the EmergeOrtho—Triangle Region joint replacement team are among the most technologically advanced in the industry.
EmergeOrtho’s team of fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons at EmergeOrtho are leaders in MAKOplasty® joint replacements and offer these robot-assisted procedures. Using the RIO® Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic System, they can achieve the highest levels of accuracy and precision when performing total knee replacements, giving patients the greatest chance of a successful recovery. It’s all part of EmergeOrtho’s commitment to helping patients Emerge Stronger. Healthier. Better.
How MAKOplasty® Has Revolutionized Total Knee Replacement Surgery
MAKOplasty is an innovative approach to knee replacement procedures, also known as partial or total knee resurfacing. The term robotic knee replacement references the technology used to perform the surgery. As Dr. Michael Merz explains, “It allows for easily customizing the position of the replacement to the patient’s unique anatomy. This is particularly true for very complex anatomy or arthritis where conventional instruments can be lacking.”
A more precise description of the MAKOplasty® total knee technique is ‘robot-assisted surgery’, since the surgeon uses the robot as a tool. Essentially, the robot is a guide that helps ensure that the procedure is performed according to the plan laid out by the surgeon in advance.
Planning for robotic knee surgery begins with specialized CT scans that capture detailed, three-dimensional images of the patient’s knee joint, bone structure, and surrounding tissue. The surgeon uses these images to choose the perfect implant size for the new joint, determine the exact positioning for the implant, and plan precise cuts to ensure that the surgery is as minimally-invasive as possible.
During the surgery, the MAKO surgical robot uses the information from the CT scan images and the surgeon’s plan to guide the entire procedure. During a partial knee resurfacing, the RIO® Robotic Arm is under painstaking control to ensure that only the diseased portion of the joint is removed, leaving the surrounding healthy bone and tissue intact. The surgeon then secures an implant into the joint, restoring mobility.
The Advantages of a Robotic Knee Replacement
Many patients are seeking out robotic surgery, since advances in robotics in other specialties like cardiology and gynecology have many patients looking for the least invasive, most precise options for their orthopedic procedures.”
MAKOplasty knee replacement is sought after for several reasons, including:
- The potential for an outpatient procedure. Patients usually have shorter hospital stays after robot-assisted procedures.
- Faster recovery. The enhanced precision provided by the surgical robot, combined with the surgeon’s expertise, allows for a better surgical plan that prevents complications and speeds recovery.
- Faster return to normal activity. Patients can restore previous activity levels quickly, and without pain.
Overall, research indicates that patients who undergo robot-assisted total knee replacement are more satisfied with the outcome than those who had more traditional, manual surgery.
Are You a Candidate for Robotic Knee Surgery?
The majority MAKOplasty® total knee replacements are performed on patients with mid-stage osteoarthritis. Patients with arthritis in one or two compartments of the knee (inner, outer, or front) are candidates for partial knee resurfacing; patients with arthritis in all compartments of the knee need total resurfacing or replacement.
The EmergeOrtho team is always committed to conservative, non-surgical options as a first approach to treating knee pain and osteoarthritis. Only when those techniques are not effective, are surgical options like MAKOplasty® considered. That said, most patients who are candidates for a traditional knee replacement are suitable for robotic knee surgery.
Our own, board certified orthopedic surgeon and joint replacement specialist, Dr. Richard Rutherford says, “If your quality of life is suffering due to severe knee arthritis, then you may be a candidate for robotic knee replacement.”
Advanced Treatment, Close to Home
EmergeOrtho—Triangle Region is home to one of the most highly skilled Joint Replacement and Reconstruction teams in the Southeastern United States. A robot-assisted surgical option like MAKOplasty® is just one way they maintain their commitment to using the most advanced techniques and innovations to improve patient outcomes.
If you have knee pain and want to discuss treatment options, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists. Or, call us any time at (919) 220-5255.