Robotic Arm Assisted Joint Replacement Surgery

Drs Baird, Fassina and Munt were integral in introducing Mako Robotic Arm Assisted Joint Replacement Surgery to South Australia. They were the first surgeons in SA to perform robotic arm assisted partial knee replacement, total hip replacement and total knee replacement surgery. This innovative and accurate option allows for patient specific management of arthritic hip and knee conditions.

why robotics?

The Mako robotic arm assisted joint replacement system has now been used throughout the world for over 10 years. Over 100 000 hip and knee procedures have been completed using this system. There is a growing body of research supporting the use of robotics in all fields of surgery including joint replacement surgery. The potential benefits reported in some research includes:

  • Smaller incisions and reduced risk of infection
  • Reduced pain and discomfort
  • Reduced blood loss and transfusion rate
  • Shorter hospitalisations
  • Faster recovery and return to normal activities
  • Reduced blood loss and transfusion rate
  • Improved accuracy, reproducibility and accountability for outcomes
  • A more normal feeling joint replacement

how does it work?

The principles behind Mako robotic arm assisted joint replacement surgery are:

Patient specific pre-operative planning – a pre-operative CT scan is performed of the affected joint. This information is used to produce a 3D model of the joint. This model is used to plan the surgery. The size and shape of the affected joint can be accurate templated with the new prosthetic joint.

Functional implant positioning – Intra-operatively, implants are moved around “virtually” before any surgery is performed. This allows for the optimal position of the prosthesis based on the anatomy of the bones and soft tissues found at the time of the surgery.

Robotic arm assisted bone preparation – Virtual boundaries are set up that allow for only the removal of diseased bone and cartilage. The robotic arm, which is surgeon guided at all times will not allow the removal of tissue outside of these boundaries. The robot uses haptics – visual, auditory and tactile cues – to indicate to the surgeon when the boundary is being approached. If the surgeon does attempt to “break the boundary” the robot cuts the power the arm thus not allowing damage to normal tissues.

are you a candidate?

If you are experiencing knee or hip pain from joint degeneration that is not responding to non-surgical treatment, talk to your doctor about robotic arm assisted joint replacement surgery.