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Robotic Joint Replacement

On May 8, 2021 bonesmart.org hosted the 4th Annual Joint Replacement Awareness Day (JRAD). Dr. Cory Calendine, Orthopaedic Surgeon joined the international online event to discuss the role of robotics in joint replacement surgery.

JRAD is the largest online educational event held on the topic of joint replacement with up to 50,000 people tuning-in nationwide. The online event features presentations and panel discussions with the top experts in the orthopedic profession including surgeons, nurses, and physical therapists, as well as patients who have gone through the joint replacement process and can speak to its benefits and challenges.

Introduction to Robotic Joint Replacement

Cory Calendine, MD, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Hip and Knee Specialist

What is Mako Robotic-arm Assisted Surgery?

Mako robotic-arm assisted surgery is a technology developed for knee and hip replacement surgeries. It allows your orthopedic surgeon to pre-plan joint replacement surgery using Mako’s software and then perform the operation by guiding the robotic arm to precisely remove bone and cartilage.

Why is robotic technology used as a tool in joint replacement?

This technology allows your surgeon to use a CT scan to create a 3D virtual model of your unique knee or hip anatomy. The uniquely detailed and personalized view enables the surgeon to create a surgical plan that can be adjusted as necessary before and during the joint replacement procedure.

In addition, when your surgeon prepares the bone for the implant, the robotic arm helps guide the surgeon within a predefined area based on the 3D model of your unique anatomy, designed to allow for a more accurate and better-aligned implant.

What does the procedure involve?

Your surgeon will use Mako to make a 3-D virtual model of your knee or hip. The preoperative model is used to virtually plan implant placement and will implemented during surgery. The surgeon will be able to see the pre-surgical plan overlaid on the real-time anatomy to use as a guide during surgery. The robotic arm and instruments remain under the surgeon's complete control throughout the surgery.

The robotic arm has tracking eyes and can adjust for very small movements of the joint as they occur. It precisely prepares the bone according to visual boundaries that protect the essential structures of the knee and removes only the bone surface that’s been affected. The implant is placed, the joint is properly balanced, and if necessary, your surgeon can make fine adjustments.

What are the benefits of Mako Robotic-arm Assisted Aurgery?

This type of technology provides the following benefits:

  • Can be used for partial/total knee and hip replacements
  • Helps create a personalized surgical plan
  • Gives your surgeon real-time sensory feedback
  • Makes your surgeon in complete control
  • Helps ensure proper preparation of the bone
  • Allows for precise placement of the implant
  • Produces minimal blood loss and a smaller scar
  • Helps preserve healthy bone and soft tissue
  • Results in less post-operative pain than manual techniques
  • Provides a quicker recovery and shorter hospital stay

Who makes a good candidate for Mako Robotic-Assisted Joint Replacement?

If the following apply to you, you may want to talk to your doctor about this technology:

  • Severe or progressive Osteoarthritis
  • Knee/Hip pain or stiffness with activity or when getting up from a sitting/lying position
  • Inadequate improvement with conservative treatments such as anti-inflammatory medication

What is recovery like?

Robotics can be instrumental in optimizing your recovery course. Most patients are able to walk just hours after surgery, and often return to daily activities within 2-4 weeks. The exact amount of time depends on many factors including comorbid health conditions, preoperative condition and complications.

If you are suffering with pain and stiffness of the knee or hip  and want to learn more about Mako, make an appointment today with the Cory Calendine, MD, at the Bone and Joint Institute of Tennessee. We’ll customize an effective treatment plan based on your unique circumstances and provide the relief needed to get you moving again.

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Cory Calendine, MD is an Orthopaedic Surgeon and founding partner of the Bone and Joint Institute of Tennessee at Williamson County Hospital in Franklin, TN. Dr. Calendine is an expert in Joint Replacement, specializing in Hip and Knee Surgery. From diagnosis through treatment, the Orthopaedic Surgical experts at the Bone and Joint Institute use the latest techniques and technology to improve care for people with musculoskeletal problems. For more information, please contact our office or schedule your appointment today.  

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