New Robotic-Arm Tech for Knee Replacements Offers More Precision, Faster Recovery

Robotic-arm assisted surgery for total or partial knee replacements is becoming more common for the growing number of patients suffering from pain caused by arthritis or injury — and who haven’t found relief with non-surgical treatments.

Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute is the first institution in Miami-Dade County to invest in the Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Technology, manufactured by Stryker. Mako has helped surgeons perform partial and knee replacements more accurately. For patients, that means preserving soft tissue, saving healthy bone, and realizing faster recoveries.

Everypatient that needs a knee replacement, whether a total or partial knee, iscandidate to have a robotic procedure with Mako, says JuanCarlos Suarez, M.D., orthopedic surgeon with MiamiOrthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute.

(Watch now: The Baptist Health NewsTeam hears from orthopedic surgeon Juan Carlos Suarez, M.D., about the MakoRobotic-Arm Assisted Technology. Video by Steve Pipho.)

“Therobotic knee replacement surgery is a big advancement in the field of jointreplacement because it allows us to personalize the surgery,” explains Dr.Suarez, an expert in knee and hip replacements. “And what we’re learning isthat not all patients need their knee replacement done exactly the same way.But you cannot do it without accuracy and precision.”

Total orpartial knee replacements using Mako starts with a CT scan that creates 3Dimages of a patient’s unique anatomy. Using these images, the Mako technologyguides surgeons to cut what’s planned precisely for each patient. The surgeonuses the technology to evaluate bone structure, disease severity, jointalignment and the surrounding bone and tissue. This enables them to determinethe optimal size, placement and alignment of the implant.

With thehelp of increased precision, Mako protects soft tissue and ligaments fromdamage. In a clinical study, Mako patients surveyed six months after surgeryreported less pain and resumed normal activities sooner, compared to those whoreceived a conventional joint replacement.

“Whatthe robot allows you to do is precisely that. It allows you to personalize anyreplacement based on the specific needs of that patient, which is leading tofaster recovery,” says Dr. Suarez.

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