Mako™ Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery

Hip and knee joints are involved in almost every activity. Walking, bending, turning and other movements require the use of the hip and knee joints. When the hip or knee becomes diseased or injured, the resulting pain can severely limit your ability to function.

One common cause of hip or knee pain is osteoarthritis (OA). OA is sometimes called degenerative arthritis because it is a “wearing out” condition involving the breakdown of cartilage in the joints. When cartilage wears away, the bones rub against each other, causing pain and stiffness.

What is Partial Knee Replacement?

Partial knee replacement is a surgical procedure that helps relieve arthritis in one or two of the three compartments of the knee.

With partial knee replacement, only the damaged area of the knee joint is replaced, which may help to minimize trauma to healthy bone and tissue.

There are three types of partial knee replacement:

  1. Unicondylar Knee Replacement is a procedure that replaces only the single affected compartment of the knee, either the medial or lateral compartment.
  2. Patellofemoral Knee Replacement is a procedure that replaces the worm patella (the kneecap) and the trochlea (the groove at the end of the thigh bone).
  3. Bicompartmental Knee Replacement is a procedure that replaces two compartments of the knee, the medial and patellofemoral compartments.

The Mako technology can be used for partial knee replacement, which is a procedure designed to relieve the pain caused by joint degeneration due to osteoarthritis. By selectively targeting the part of your knee damaged by osteoarthritis, your surgeon can replace the diseased part of your knee while helping to spare the health of bone and ligaments surrounding it.

What is Hip Replacement Surgery?

Total Hip Replacement surgery involves the removal of arthritic bone and damaged cartilage, and replacing them with hip implants that are designed to replicate the hip joint.

During surgery, the femur (head of the thigh bone) is replaced with a metal stem and the acetabulum (hip socket) is fitted with a metal cup. The artificial ball is placed on a metal stem, and the artificial socket is lined with polyethylene (a durable plastic).

Mako robotic-arm assisted technology can be used for Total Hip Replacement, which is a procedure designed for patients who suffer from non-inflammatory or inflammatory degenerative joint disease of the hip. This technology provides your surgeon with a patient-specific 3D model to pre-plan your hip replacement. During surgery, your surgeon guides the robotic-arm based on your patient-specific plan. This helps the surgeon to focus on removal of diseased bone, helping preserve healthy bone, and assists your surgeon in positioning the total hip implant based on your anatomy.

How Mako™ Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery Works

Pre-surgery: A personalized plan. It begins with a CT scan of the joint that is used to generate a 3D virtual model of your unique anatomy. This virtual model is loaded into the Mako system software and is used to create a personalized pre-operative plan.

In the operating room. During surgery, your surgeon guides the robotic-arm while preparing the joint and positioning the implant based on the personalized pre-operative plan. The Mako system also allows the surgeon to make adjustments to the plan during surgery, as needed. When the surgeon prepares the bone for the implant, the Mako system guides the surgeon within the pre-defined area and helps prevent the surgeon from moving outside the planned boundaries. This helps provide more accurate placement and alignment of the implant.

After surgery. Your surgeon, nurses and physical therapists will set goals to get you moving again. They will closely monitor your condition and progress. Your surgeon may review an X-ray of the new joint replacement with you.

Meet the Team

Northwestern Medicine spine surgeon Dr. Aruna Ganju performing surgery.
Northwestern Medicine Orthopaedics has a complete range of specialized orthopaedic care to get you back in motion, offering leading-edge care for arthritis, recovery from sports injury, and joint replacement that meets your needs.
Locations & Contact Information

    Related Resources

    • Central DuPage Hospital and Delnor Hospital Hip Replacement Guide (English | Spanish)
    • Central DuPage Hospital and Delnor Hospital Knee Replacement Guide (English | Spanish)

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