March 9, 2016

One Reason Why Joint Replacement Today is Safer Than 10 Years Ago

One Reason Why Joint Replacement Today is Safer Than 10 Years Ago

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A hip or knee replacement can be a source of pain, stress and worry. Thankfully, robotic-assisted surgery with MAKOplasty, a relatively new medical breakthrough, is making these procedures easier for the doctors and safer for patients.

What is MAKOplasty?
Dr. Trevor Magee of the Hofmann Arthritis Institute describes MAKOplasty: “It’s a surgeon-controlled robot.” Essentially, the machine helps doctors precisely plan and execute a joint replacement so the procedure is consistently completed with accuracy that cannot be matched with manual techniques.

“Robotic-assisted surgery ensures that the parts are placed with the highest level of accuracy,” Dr. Magee says.

He continues, describing how the process starts by uploading a 3-D model of the joint in the computer. From this CT scan model, the surgeon can designate the proper size and anatomic location for the joint replacement. Programmed with this information, the robot will prevent the surgeon from going outside the designated area. As a result, the success and survivorship rates are greatly improved versus traditional techniques.
All about ease and precision
With the breakthrough of MAKOplasty robotic-assisted surgery comes an increase in the success of partial knee replacement. Because of the precise nature of the machine, human error is reduced and surgeons can more easily complete a partial joint replacement. Partial knee replacement leads to less pain and a more rapid return to normal activity.

Dr. Magee explains, “For the partial knee replacement, it’s a smaller incision with a shorter recovery time. It gives people more of a normal feeling knee than they would feel with a total knee replacement since it just replaces part of the knee that’s worn out.”

He says it is very difficult to do a partial knee replacement with traditional “manual” techniques and get perfect alignment. In contrast, with MAKOplasty, getting the perfect alignment is a straightforward process.

According to Dr. Jordan Schaeffer of the Hofmann Arthritis Institute, “Today, joint replacement surgery is an option for more people than ever. With newer technologies such as robotic-assisted surgery, hip replacements can be performed with increased precision and less invasive techniques”. As a result of the increased precision, patients are able to achieve a faster recovery with increased longevity and fewer complications versus traditional techniques.

The orthopedic surgeons at the Center for Precision Joint Replacement at Salt Lake Regional Medical Center have been utilizing MAKOplasty for seven years, and the results show improved survivorship and lasting success with excellent patient outcomes. Salt Lake Regional Medical Center is the only location on the Wasatch Front that currently uses robotic-assisted technology; helping patients have the best experience and results possible.

For more information, visit If you have any questions about osteoarthritis, joint replacement and MAKOplasty, these are good resources to help answer your questions.