MAKO robotic-assisted joint replacement surgery is improving the success of total hip replacements and reducing the risks to patients. While it may seem a bit “space age” to have a robotic arm assisting in your surgery, there are multiple benefits to this new technology that are helping to transform people’s lives.
The pain of arthritis is debilitating. Chronic hip pain has a major impact on people’s quality of life, restricting movement and preventing them from doing many of the things they’ve always done.
Total hip replacement has long been the recommended solution but, although the risk is minimal, conventional hip replacement surgery can sometimes fail to produce the desired results. Implants can sometimes fail due to dislocation or infection, loosening or because of mechanical problems with the implant itself.
MAKO Robotic arm improves accuracy during surgery
Using a robotic arm to assist with surgery may reduce failure rates associated with misplacement of implants cutting the need for revision surgery to correct problems.
The reason for this is that it is a highly accurate way of positioning the implant, using a detailed 3D model of your actual hip joint taken during a CT scan. This reduces the risk of dislocation or loosening.
How it works
A CT scan of your hip joint is taken prior to surgery and used to generate a 3D virtual model of your exact anatomy. The MAKO system software then uses this information to create a personalised pre-operative plan. Before you are in the operating theatre, the surgeon will plan with pinpoint accuracy the size and placement of the implant to ensure maximum hip stability.
During surgery, the robotic arm will be used to position the hip implant. It facilitates controlled and highly accurate preparation of the hip socket, removing only arthritic bone and cartilage thanks to a virtual boundary that prevents the surgeon from inadvertently removing healthy bone and tissue.
The result is a more accurately positioned implant with as much of your natural bone and tissue remaining as possible.
Benefits of using MAKO in hip replacement surgery
This technology enables the surgeon to position your hip implant with absolute accuracy, based on your individual anatomy. It maps your natural movement patterns, helping to minimise orthopaedic stress on your body and ensure that you will be able to move in a natural way once the implant is in place. Rehabilitation times are reduced.
With conventional joint replacement surgery, there is always a degree of compromise on the size or positioning of the implant. Personalised surgery avoids the need for compromise and can help you to enjoy greater mobility and freedom from pain.
As with all surgery there are risks, however these are fewer than with conventional surgical techniques, related to avoiding misplacement of the implants. After surgery your progress will be closely monitored and you will be given physical therapies to help restore a full range of movement to your hip joint.