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.