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SNHS Spotlight: Robotic Assisted Knee Replacement Surgery

The use of robotics for surgical intervention has made great strides in the past several years. During the early 1960s, John Charnley did a metal-on-polyethylene total hip arthroplasty which inspired modern total knee replacements. For example, the Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Total Knee Replacement Technology.

The Mako robot made by Stryker, image credits to stryker.com.

The Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Total Knee Replacement Technology is a robot that was developed for the purpose of knee replacement surgeries. This robot allows the orthopedic surgeon to plan out surgeries using the Mako software program. The surgeon would then operate by guiding the robotic arm to accurately remove bone and cartilage. The orthopedic surgeon would use a CT scan to create a 3D virtual model of the knee since every knee has a unique anatomy. Because of this detailed and personalized view, it is easier for the surgeon to develop a specific surgery plan specific to the individual. A 3D virtual model of the knee can be created with a CT scan. The surgeon would then virtually put the implant in place. Mako will hold the surgeon’s instruments and use its tracking eyes to pick up on small movements in the knee if they occur. These tracking eyes can also be used to help the surgeon determine which part of the knee has been affected and which part needs to be removed.

Mako has many benefits. Some benefits would be that it helps to create a personalized surgical plan, gives the surgeon real-time sensory feedback, allows the surgeon to be in complete control, helps ensure proper preparation of the bone, produces less blood loss and a smaller scar, allows for a more precise implantation, helps to preserve healthy bone and scar tissue, results in less postoperative pain, and provides a quicker recovery

In a Bone and Joint Journal study, 40 patients underwent manual total knee arthroplasty while the other 40 underwent Mako robotic arm-assisted surgery. Those who underwent the Mako surgeries had less postoperative pain, a 26 percent reduction in in-hospital length stay, and less need for in-patient physical therapy.

Overall, the Mako robot can significantly benefit patients. It has made significant advancements over the years and has been proven trustworthy. If I were to get a total knee replacement surgery done, I would want the Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Total Knee Replacement Technology to be used!

Work Cited:

Crotti, Nancy. “Stryker Touts Mako Robotic Knee Replacement Outcomes.” Medical Design and Outsourcing, 18 June 2019,
http://www.medicaldesignandoutsourcing.com/stryker-touts-mako-robotic-knee-replacement-out comes/.


Muderis, Professor Al. “History Of Knee Arthroplasty.” Hip Surgery Sydney / Knee Surgery / Orthopaedic Surgery Sydney, Al Muderis, 14 Jan. 2016,www.almuderis.com.au/knee-surgery/knee-arthroplasty/information/history-of-knee-arthro plasty.


“What Are the Benefits of a Mako Robotic-Assisted Knee Replacement?” Specialty Orthopaedics, 11 Mar. 2020,
specialtyorthony.com/2018/11/blog/what-are-the-benefits-of-having-a-mako-robotic-assist ed-knee-replacement/.

By: Kiara Bassora’22, SNHS Member

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