November 2014

MakoPlasty: A New Option for Knee Pain

Author: Special to CH2

Tired of living with constant knee pain due to osteoarthritis? Then you may be a candidate for MAKOplasty®, a new minimally invasive procedure available at Hilton Head Hospital.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, more than 21 million people in the United States suffer from knee osteoarthritis. A degenerative joint disease, and considered the most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis is caused by the breakdown and eventual loss of cartilage in the knee, resulting in bones rubbing directly against each other. This can lead to severe joint pain, deformity and loss of movement. Although the root cause of osteoarthritis is unknown, the risk of developing it is influenced by multiple factors such as age, gender and inherited traits that can affect the shape and stability of your joints. Other factors can include a previous knee injury, repetitive strain on the knee, improper joint alignment, being overweight and exercise-related stress placed on the knee joints.

What is MAKOplasty?
MAKOplasty is a robotic arm-assisted surgical procedure designed to relieve the pain caused by joint degeneration due to osteoarthritis. At Hilton Head Hospital, MAKOplasty is currently being used to treat the damaged part of the knee, while sparing the surrounding healthy bone and ligaments. This procedure is referred to as partial knee resurfacing. During the procedure, the affected portion of the knee is resurfaced. This spares healthy bone and surrounding tissue. An implant is then secured in the joint to allow the knee to move smoothly again.

MAKOplasty partial knee resurfacing allows surgeons to precisely resurface only the arthritic portion of the knee and it preserves healthy tissue and bone. In addition, it relieves pain and restores range of motion while producing a more natural-feeling knee motion following surgery. MAKOplasty also results in a speedier recovery and shorter hospital stay than traditional total knee replacement surgery.

How does MAKOplasty work?
The RIO Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic System is a three-dimensional system. During surgery, the RIO provides the surgeon with real-time visual, tactile and auditory feedback to facilitate optimal joint resurfacing and implant positioning. This level of precision can result in a more natural knee motion following surgery.

If I have MAKOplasty, what can I expect?
MAKOplasty can be performed as either an inpatient procedure or on an outpatient basis, depending on what your orthopedic surgeon determines is right for you. Inpatient hospital stays average anywhere from one to three days.

In many cases, patients are permitted to walk soon after surgery, drive a car within two weeks and return to normal activities shortly thereafter.

What is the lifespan of a MAKOplasty implant?
The lifespan of an implant depends on several factors including your weight, activity level, bone strength and compliance with your physician’s orders. Using robotic surgery helps to ensure optimal alignment and position. This results in a longer lifespan for the implant, as well as decreased pain and a shorter recovery time.

The implants allow your physician to treat one or two of the three knee compartments that can potentially be affected by osteoarthritis. Because very little bone is actually removed during a MAKOplasty, procedure, the implants can be replaced in the future with another procedure, such as a total knee replacement, should that become necessary. 

For more information, call (877) 866-9838.

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