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Focus Stories

Mako™ Total Knee Replacement a New Option for Joint Surgery

by Dr. Ronald Hudanich, DO

Featured Photo from Mako™ Total Knee Replacement a New Option for Joint Surgery

Osteoarthritis affects an estimated 12 percent of the U.S. population and about half of all seniors over the age of 65. As cartilage is worn away by this condition, the most commonly affected area is the knees. To address knee pain caused by osteoarthritis, you may find some relief with treatments such as physical therapy, knee braces, anti-inflammatory/pain medications and injections. As time goes on, however, these treatments may no longer be enough.

Why the Type of Implant Matters
If your knee pain gets to the point where you can no longer enjoy the life you did before, it may be time to consider knee replacement surgery. A new robotic-assisted surgical procedure called Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Technology with Triathlon Total Knee implants is now approved for surgery in the United States.

With over a decade of clinical history including two million knee implants worldwide, Triathlon knee implants are different than traditional knee replacements because they are designed to work with the body to promote natural-like circular motion. This is due to the single radius design of the knee implant. Single radius means that as your knee flexes, the radius is the same, similar to a circle, potentially requiring less effort from your quadriceps (thigh) muscle.

Since the quadriceps is attached to your knee, it is unavoidably involved in knee replacement surgery. The quadriceps muscle can become a source of discomfort or pain during the recovery period of total knee replacement surgery. Because the Triathlon knee implant puts less stress on your quadriceps muscle, the recovery period from Mako total knee replacement is typically faster and less painful than traditional knee replacement surgery. 

How the Surgery Works
When you hear “robotic-arm assisted technology,” it’s important to understand that the Mako robotic arm doesn’t actually perform the surgery. Surgery is performed by an orthopedic surgeon, who uses the Mako robotic-arm to remove diseased bone and cartilage. The Mako surgery process allows for highly precise implant placement by providing the surgeon a 3-D model of the patient’s unique anatomy based on a CT scan of the knee. Using guided visualization, the surgeon uses a robotic surgical arm to place the Triathlon Total Knee implant based on the patient’s unique surgery plan.

Benefits of Robotic-Assisted Surgery
The advantages of robotic-assisted knee compared to traditional manual surgery include:
•Smaller incisions
•More precise placement of the implant
•Faster recovery
•Reduced injury to adjacent tissues
•Increased longevity of the implant
Studies of patients who received Mako total knee replacement compared to traditional manual knee replacement show that robotic-assisted implants result in more accurate and precise placement than manual implants. In addition, the Mako surgeries also result in less injury to surrounding tissue.
To find out if Mako partial knee replacement is right for you, consult with your physician, or go to to learn more.

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