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MAKOplasty® at Castle

Mele Pochereva Orthopedic

For the past three years, Castle Medical Center has offered patients an exciting new alternative to total knee replacement surgery—it’s less invasive and provides a quicker recovery.

Called MAKOplasty, this innovative partial knee resurfacing procedure is performed with a sophisticated robotic device for precise repair of the damaged knee joint. And it’s the newest addition to Castle’s multidisciplinary joint care program, which is dedicated to delivering excellent care and results for its patients. No other hospital in Hawaii currently offers the MAKOplasty option.

When only one or two compartments of the knee joint are affected by degeneration due to osteoarthritis, MAKOplasty can be used to replace just the damaged areas with implants made of titanium, cobalt chrome and polyethylene that are custom-sized and precisely fitted. The procedure enables the surgeon to preserve the healthy bone and tissue, including the ligaments that connect the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia and fibula (the two bones in the lower leg). This often results in a more natural-feeling knee motion and, in the long run, less wear and tear on the implants.

Rapid recovery

Linda Rasmussen, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon who has been on Castle’s medical staff for more than 20 years, says her MAKOplasty patients consistently report remarkable results following their surgery. “Most of our patients can return to their normal daily activities within days of surgery, and the time off work can be as little as two or three weeks—just a fraction of the time off needed after a total knee replacement,” she says. “With diligent compliance to their rehab programs, we have seen patients with full recovery in one or two months.”

Castle’s Joint Care Center consistently ranks in the top 10 percent for patient satisfaction. Its excellent team of medical professionals is supported by a staff of nurses, nursing assistants, and physical and occupational therapists who specialize in joint care. They work together to ensure that patients receive excellent care in a friendly environment before surgery and throughout their brief hospital stay.

How MAKOplasty works

The first step in planning for a MAKOplasty procedure is a computed tomography (CT) image of the joint. The CT data is input into the RIO Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic System, or RIO, to create a digital, three-dimensional pre-surgical plan that will provide a “roadmap” during the preparation of the implant area and positioning of the components.

The procedure itself is performed through a small 4- to 6-inch incision above the knee and small incisions in both the femur and tibia. Using RIO’s sophisticated robotic arm and facilitated by the system’s real-time visual, tactile and auditory feedback, the surgeon is able to gently resurface the joint and precisely position the implant. Implants are secured with bone cement, perfectly integrating the components with the bone—exactly according to the pre-surgical plan.

The benefits of this minimally invasive procedure include reduced blood loss during surgery, reduced scarring and less time in the hospital. The precise alignment of the implants contributes to their improved lifespan. However, because very little bone is removed during the MAKOplasty procedure, the implants can be replaced, if necessary

Is MAKOplasty for you?

You may be a good candidate for the MAKOplasty procedure if one or more of these scenarios fits your situation:

  • Knee pain with activity, usually on the inner knee, under the knee cap or both or the outer knee
  • Start-up knee pain or stiffness when activities are initiated from a sitting position
  • Failure to respond to nonsurgical treatments or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication.

Attend one of Castle’s free informational seminars, led by Linda Rasmussen, M.D., to get a deeper view of MAKOplasty and how it can help relieve joint pain caused by osteoarthritis.

Please call 263-5400 for more information.