In our rapidly advancing world, robotics play an important – if often unseen – role in our everyday lives. For example, chances are your car or truck was at least partially constructed by a robot. Robotics have also arrived in the field of medicine, assisting with surgical procedures ranging from prostate removals to knee replacements.
The Mako robotic arm was originally used for total hip replacements. It has now also been approved for both total and partial knee replacement surgeries. The Mako system offers distinct benefits for patients undergoing the knee replacement process.
First of all, the Mako system provides your orthopedic surgeon with a detailed 3D model that captures the specificities of your unique anatomy. While most everyone has knees that are identical on the large scale – the same bones, ligaments, areas of cartilage – there are thousands of small variations in size, structure, and disease from patient to patient. The Mako system precisely maps these variations in your own unique anatomy.
This rigorous mapping allows your orthopedic surgeon to remove only the diseased portions of your knee, sparing as much healthy bone and other tissue as possible. This is beneficial both for your recovery time and any possible future need for revision.
Prosthetic knee hardware can be expected to last for around 15-20 years. If your hardware needs to be replaced in the future, having more natural bone remaining will increase the likelihood that the revision surgery is successful.
Mako is a Tool, Not a Surgeon
It’s important to realize that the Mako robotic arm does not replace your orthopedic surgeon. Rather, Mako only assists during the procedure, acting as a guide. Your surgeon will still perform the actual knee replacement procedure.
Additionally, it takes specialized training and experience to effectively use the Mako system. In West Michigan, Dr. Derick Johnson at the Bone & Joint Center is a Mako Certified orthopedic surgeon for complete and partial knee replacement. Dr. Johnson has trained with some of the world’s top orthopedic surgeons and has achieved high success rates coupled with a low incidence of complications in his knee replacement procedures.
Patients can rest assured of the highest levels of competency and skill when they see Dr. Johnson.