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The Top 5 Things to Know about Mako Joint Replacement

Posted on January 2, 2018

Have you heard about Mako Robotic Arm Assisted joint replacement? Maybe you’ve heard (or seen) it when searching for your options for joint replacement—it has been called MAKOplasty, Mako plasty, RIO, or just MAKO. We are here to give you the top five things to know about Mako Joint Replacement.

1. What is Mako?

Mako is the newest tool in joint replacement surgeries. Mako is a surgical assistance system which combines a robotic arm and Mako software that allows pre-surgical planning by a Mako certified joint replacement specialist and guidance during surgery. The goal of the Mako System is to provide additional flexibility and better fit by providing more precision and consistency during placement—the idea is that this will lead to less wear and tear over the life of the artificial joint.

2. How does Mako work?

The Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery System uses imaging of a joint before surgery to create a 3D model. Using this model, a surgeon is able to place the implant according to each patient’s unique anatomy before ever beginning surgery. With a precise plan in place the surgeon will do the actual surgery using the Mako robotic arm. The Mako Robotic Arm gives feedback during surgery to help keep the surgeon to his pre-surgical plan just as a GPS would give guidance during a road trip. The surgeon is always able to make “detours” during surgery using their expert judgement.

During surgery, Mako is merely a tool which the surgeon can use. The surgeon is always in control of the tool, maneuvering it with his own hands and utilizing the feedback from the tool to create a more accurate placement of the joint implant.

3. What can I expect from a Mako surgery?

Consultation – Mako surgery begins just like traditional joint replacement surgeries, after your surgeon has determined that you are a candidate for joint replacement, you will work together to choose the best plan for you. If Mako is the right option for your joint replacement, the first step will be to get the right imaging.

Before Surgery – Once the imaging is placed into the Mako system, a 3D model of your joint will be generated. The 3D model will be used by your surgeon to rotate, extend, and maneuver to create the best plan for your surgery and ensure the most accurate, consistent placement of your implant.

During Surgery – During surgery, your surgeon will be able to see his pre-surgical plan overlaid on the real time surgery. In seeing the plan, the surgeon will be able to see how he planned before surgery according to your unique anatomy.

4. Who can get Mako?

According to Mako Certified joint replacement specialist, Dr. Robert Thomas, “there is nobody who is a candidate for traditional joint replacement surgery that is not also a candidate for Mako joint replacement.” The Mako System allows for precise, accurate, and exact placement of a joint implant before surgery even begins.

5. Where can I go to get Mako?

Two of Panorama Orthopedics & Spine Center’s joint replacement specialists are certified in the Mako technology now available at Littleton Adventist Hospital. Call today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Timothy Lehman or Dr. Robert Thomas to see if you would be a good candidate to receive a Mako joint replacement.

If you are interested in finding out more about Mako surgery, please make an appointment with one of our Mako joint replacement specialists