The delivery of healthcare and Orthopaedic options for patients seem to change rapidly these days. However, most of the technological innovations and advancements occur in small steps over time. Year to year, for instance, there may be very little difference in the way I perform an operation. In ten years’ time, it could be dramatically different.
Rarely do I encounter technological advances that revolutionize the way an operation is performed. The MAKOplasty technology for unicompartmental knee replacement and total hip replacement is one of these advanced Orthopaedic procedures that has given us a giant leap forward in the treatment of knee arthritis and hip arthritis. With MAKOplasty, I am able to utilize the most current technology in CAT scan imaging, preoperative computerized planning, inter-operative computerized navigation, and finally, robotic-assisted guidance for placement of the implants. The precision and accuracy now available for placing the Unicompartmental knee implants is game-changing.
Furthermore, the smaller incision and less cutting of tissue translates to less blood loss, less pain, and therefore quicker recoveries. Many of our patients are now going home the same day of surgery, and most are walking without any walker or assistive device within the first two weeks of surgery.
With MAKOplasty Unicompartmental knee replacement or hip replacement, a preoperative 3-D CAT scan of the joint is first obtained. On this 3-D computerized model, the implants are sized and “implanted” in what I feel to be the most precise and accurate position for a successful long-term outcome. In short, we do the operation on the computerized model first. Once I am happy with the procedure on the computerized model, this exact plan is then performed in the patient with the use of a Robotic arm that guides this same exact placement of the implants for the most optimal outcome.
Because the technology has improved the precision and accuracy of implant placement to such an extraordinary degree, the key to successful outcomes is now patient selection. Not every patient with knee arthritis is a candidate for MAKOplasty Unicompartmental knee replacement; however, when the principles of patient selection are firmly followed, both the patient and I have been extremely pleased with the results.