Advantages of a MAKO® Knee Replacement

Knee replacement surgery may be an option when pain limits your everyday activities such as walking and bending or when pain continues while resting. At Adventist Health Simi Valley, we take a multi-faceted approach to treating knee pain and injuries with the least invasive and simplest solutions. We start with conservative treatment options such as medication and lifestyle changes. However, if all conservative treatment options have been exhausted, then knee joint replacement surgery may be a great next step.

Total knee replacement

When all of the parts of a knee need repair, a total knee replacement may be the best option. This involves removing broken down cartilage and bone and replacing it with an artificial joint. This prosthesis is made of plastic and metal and provides fluid and free movement.

Partial knee replacement

A partial knee replacement may be possible when one or two of the three compartments of your knee are damaged. In a partial knee replacement, cartilage and bone is shaved away and replaced with an implant in the affected compartment(s).

Total or partial knee replacement with MAKO robotic-arm assisted surgery

Robotic-assisted surgery is the latest technology for joint replacement. The robot offers a higher level of customization and accuracy for implant alignment and positioning. It provides each patient with a personalized surgical experience based on their specific diagnosis and anatomy.

What are the advantages?

Robotic-assisted surgery for joint replacement adds an unparalleled level of accuracy and precision to certain joint replacement procedures.

Increased accuracy means potential for reduced implant failure and reduces the need for repeat surgery.

The system allows surgeons to conduct a virtual run-through of the operation prior to the actual procedure. They can adjust the plan then or during surgery, if needed, to better execute removal of the bone.

How is it done?

As with all joint replacement surgeries you will be scheduled for a series of appointments to receive testing and clearance for surgery.

As part of the preoperative evaluation you will complete a CT scan of the joint.

The system creates a 3-D image of your joint, helping the surgeon create a customized surgical plan specific to your unique anatomy, and chooses the best implant size and placement. The model also allows the surgeon to complete an assessment of the your soft tissues.

Next, the surgeon creates a surgical plan, taking into account your unique anatomy.

The surgeon conducts a virtual run-through prior to the actual surgery. The surgical plan can be adjusted then or once surgery is underway, if needed.

The robot does not actually perform the surgery, nor can it make decisions or move on its own. Rather, the surgeon guides the robotic arm to remove diseased or damaged bone and cartilage. Once damaged or diseased bone is removed, the surgeon inserts the replacement joint components.

Throughout your procedure, Mako provides real-time data to your surgeon. This allows them to continuously assess the movement and tension of your new joint and adjust your surgical plan if desired.

A surgical plan for a knee replacement
A revised surgical plan
A revised surgical plan

As the surgeon prepares to place the implant into its final position, the robotic arm guides the implant at the desired angle based on the surgical plan. This helps ensure the placement and alignment of the implant are performed according to the plan.

Mako provides data to ensure exact placement of the implant
Knee before surgery Knee after surgery

What does recovery involve?

Most patient spend just one night in the hospital following surgery, though some who are healthy enough can go home the same day.

Physical therapy is crucial to recovery and regaining mobility. In most cases, knee replacement patients will stand and move the day of surgery. Getting out of bed and putting weight on the new joint can help speed recovery.

Physical therapy will continue after discharge from the hospital. Patients use a cane, walker or similar aid for several weeks.

Most knee replacement patients are back to normal activity within three to four weeks. It can take up to a year to reach full recovery.

With all joint replacements, high impact activities, jogging, running and jumping are discouraged, but most patients can return to an active lifestyle.

Virtual visits with orthopedics

Select patients can see our providers online from their home or office by using our Virtual Visit platform. This service allows you a fast, secure and easy way to receive care from the healthcare team in a live virtual visit using your phone or computer. The benefits of choosing a virtual visit include no travel or parking, less waiting, significant time savings and the convenience of seeing your physician from wherever you choose. Learn more

Want to learn more about the advantages of MAKO robotic-arm assisted surgery?

If you want to learn more, call Kathryn Harada. Kathryn brings a passion for helping patients learn about the options available and the advantages of different types of knee joint replacement surgery. To speak with Kathryn, call (805) 955-6233 or fill out the form below.

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Kathryn Harada, BSN, BA, RN, PHN, CNOR


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