MAKOplasty: Revolutionary Treatment for Osteoarthritis of the Knee


MAKOplasty: Revolutionary Treatment for Osteoarthritis of the Knee

When knee pain caused by osteoarthritis prohibits you from enjoying everyday activities, it’s time to seek treatment. Knee pain can be debilitating and persistent, causing decreased mobility, reduced quality of life over time, and work limitations. Knee pain can be caused by injury, disease, or structural disorders, but one of the most common sources of knee pain is osteoarthritis.

Affecting over 10% of men and women in the United States alone, osteoarthritis of the knee is a growing concern. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, there is no cure for osteoarthritis, but at WWMG we offer many treatment options to help individuals manage pain and stay active.

In this blog, we’ll discuss a revolutionary procedure that we offer at WWMG that is designed to treat people suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee. This procedure is called MAKOplasty. Before we dive in, there are a few things you should know about the condition MAKOplasty is designed to treat, osteoarthritis of the knee.

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cushion between the bones of a joint is broken down, leaving the bones without a protective barrier in between. When this happens, the bones rub closer together, resulting in pain, swelling, injury, bone spurs, and decreased mobility. Contributing factors to Osteoarthritis include:

  • Heredity –Some genetic mutations can affect the shape of the bones in the knee joint, leading to increased risk of osteoporosis.
  • Gender – Women of advanced age are more likely to develop osteoarthritis.
  • Repetitive stress injuries – Often due to job demands or athletics.
  • Certain illnesses – Those with rheumatoid arthritis, or metabolic disorders.

If you are diagnosed with Osteoarthritis, your physician will give you treatment options. Most likely, your physician will prescribe non-surgical treatment options first.

Non-Surgical Treatments for Osteoarthritis

For those with early stage osteoarthritis of the knee, non-surgical treatments are usually prescribed first. These treatments may involve anti-inflammatory drugs, (to reduce inflammation and help the patient manage pain), altering or eliminating certain activities (to lessen stress on the knee joint), or implementing a weight loss regimen (to reduce constant strain on the knee joint). If the knee is unresponsive to nonsurgical treatments, surgery may be considered. MAKOplasty offers a minimally invasive and highly precise alternative for those with early to mid-stage osteoarthritis of the knee. While MAKOplasty has been available for only partial knee replacements, it has just recently become available at WWMG as a method for total knee replacement. MAKOplasty offers a minimally invasive and highly precise alternative for those with early to mid-stage osteoarthritis of the knee.

What is MAKOplasty?

Giving patients an alternative to traditional total knee replacement surgery, MAKOplasty uses robotic technology to execute a less invasive and highly successful knee replacement procedure, designed to relieve pain caused by osteoarthritis of the knee.

MAKOplasty is FDA approved and uses the RIO® Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic System that provides advanced surgical accuracy. Combined with CT scans and advanced 3D modeling, the RIO® robotic technology assists the surgeon to deliver customized treatment with high precision. This technology assists the surgeon in targeting and replacing only the damaged portion of the knee with a robotic piece, and helps the surgeon align the implant and secure it onto the joint. This minimal approach spares healthy tissue and bone from unnecessary removal or trauma, often leading to faster recovery times and a better experience using the joint post-surgery.

Who is a good candidate for MAKOplasty?

Ideal candidates for MAKOplasty are typically patients with early to mid-stage osteoarthritis in the medial (inner), patellofemoral (top), or lateral (outer) compartments of the knee. Talk to your physician about your candidacy for MAKOplasty if you have:

  • Tried nonsurgical options and found them unsuccessful.
  • One or more non-arthritic compartments of the knee.
  • Pain while performing everyday activities.
  • Swelling of the knee.
  • Stiffness of the knee.
  • Difficulty doing normal everyday activities such as walking up the stairs.

It’s important to note that a physician must complete a thorough medical examination before MAKOplasty candidacy can be determined.

MAKOplasty Procedure

In your initial consultation, your physician will first study your medical records, complete a thorough examination of your knee joint, and observe your knee as you stand and move. Your physician will evaluate structural alignment, your range of motion, and your ligament stability.

If your physician determines that you are a viable candidate for MAKOplasty, you may be referred to an orthopedic surgeon at WWMG. Here’s what you can expect.

Your surgeon will order CT scans of your affected knee, which are then used to create 3D digital models of your knee. Using these models, your surgeon will design a tailored knee implant, specifically designed to fit your joint.

During the knee resurfacing procedure, the surgeon will remove only affected areas of your knee through a small incision. Once the affected parts have been removed, a robotic arm will assist your surgeon in precisely aligning and securing the implant onto the joint, providing real-time intraoperative adjustments for correct knee kinematics and soft tissue balance.

The recovery time for this procedure is relatively short compared to traditional knee replacement methods, due to its minimally invasive nature. Many people are able to walk just hours afterward. Returning to everyday activities can take between 1-4 weeks depending on the extent of the surgery and the health of the patient.

Benefits of MAKOplasty

There are major benefits of MAKOplasty when compared to traditional total knee replacement surgery. Here are a just a few:More precise implant placement.

  • More precise implant placement.
  • Quicker recovery and shorter hospital stay.
  • Surgery can be performed on an outpatient basis.
  • Minimal blood loss.
  • Smaller scar.
  • More natural feeling knee post-surgery.
  • Normal activity within a few weeks.

MAKOplasty at WWMG

Our award-winning surgeons in the WWMG Orthopedic, Sports, Spine & Hand (OSSH) department offer patients the latest technology in partial and total joint replacement and MAKOplasty. At WWMG, we are pleased to provide MAKOplasty to adult patients needing knee resurfacing with osteoarthritis of the knee.  If you or someone you love has osteoarthritis of the knee, talk to a physician today about being referred to an orthopedic surgeon at WWMG.