Mako robot

What is the Mako robot? 

Mako robotic-arm assisted surgery is an advanced technology developed for partial and total knee replacements as well as total hip replacements. It assists your orthopaedic surgeon with the pre-operative planning and positioning of the implant based on your unique anatomy. Your surgeon uses the robotic arm to perform the operation and accurately remove the damaged bone from your knee or hip. The aim is to place the implant in the optimal position so that you can experience better function and more natural motion in your new joint.

This technology involves a virtual 3D model of the unique anatomy of your knee based on images from a preoperative CT scan. This model is then synchronised with anatomical specific landmark points during the procedure, allowing your surgeon to work with a real-time patient specific plan. Your surgeon to make any necessary adjustments during surgery and accurately prepare the bone surface to within 0.5 mm.

With an extensive portfolio of technological innovations over the years as well as over 1,000 robotic systems installed and more than 300,000 procedures performed worldwide, Mako celebrates its 15th anniversary this year.

In what area is the Mako robot used?

Knee surgery

Mako technology is for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. This surgical robot assists the surgeon with partial and total knee replacement surgery. 

Hip surgery

The Mako robot is also designed for patients with osteoarthritis of the hip. As for knee surgery, it generates a three-dimensional model of the joint, helping the surgeon to accurately remove the damaged bone from the hip, helps fit and accurately position the implants.

What are the benefits of having Mako robotic-assisted surgery?

Nearly 500 scientific articles have examined the different aspects of this technology by comparing it to conventional surgical techniques and support the finding that the Mako robot has several benefits, including:

  • Reduced postoperative pain
  • Reduced blood loss during surgery
  • Quicker functional recovery
  • Reduced risk of complications related to the positioning of the implant
  • Allows more healthy bone to be preserved
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Can be used for partial and total knee replacements as well as total hip replacements
  • Develops and helps your surgeon perform the surgical plan tailored to your anatomy
  • Helps to optimally prepare the bone to receive the implant
  • Allows for a more accurate and functional placement of the implant
  • Allows your surgeon to have complete control and demonstrate a high level of safety during each step your surgery.

Surgery

Before the operation

Your surgeon uses the Mako system to generate a virtual plan for the positioning and orientation of the prosthetic implant on the 3D bone model of your joint. These different parameters can then be adjusted in the operating theatre depending on the condition of the surrounding soft tissue envelope surrounding the joint. Once the correct the position of the virtual implants are decided upon, the robot will be ready to assist your surgeon with performing the surgical plan.

During the operation

Your surgeon performs the surgery and is in complete control of the robotic arm at all times. The robot only assists your surgeon and cannot perform the surgery itself. It allows your surgeon to continuously assess the position of the instruments used to remove the damaged parts of the joint, particularly through sensors which provide real-time information and track even slight movements of the knee. Predefined boundaries prevent the instruments from potentially damaging healthy bone or tissue, providing greater safety during each stage. Once the bone surfaces have been prepared, the final implant is placed and your surgeon can make any necessary final adjustments to ensure an extremely accurate and balanced position for the new joint.

Postoperative follow-up

After the operation

The aim is to take advantage of a less invasive surgical technique, allowing the patient to get moving again quickly and comfortably, usually within a few hours after the procedure. Early rehabilitation reduces the negative effects caused by bed rest and immobilisation of the operated limb. In the long term, the aim is to enable the patient to benefit from a pain-free, reliable and mobile joint with a function that is near normal during all activities. Some patients actually report ‘forgetting’ they have a new joint.

Why choose Mako robotic-assisted surgery at Clinique Générale-Beaulieu?

Clinique Générale-Beaulieu is the first healthcare facility in Geneva to have a Mako robotic arm and it is the only robot of its kind in French-speaking Switzerland. Our surgeons are trained to use the Mako robot and have extensive experience in using this technology. They are Swiss Medical Association (FMH)-certified specialists and receive continuing medical education in this area.

FAQ

Does the Mako robot perform the surgery itself?

No, the robot cannot perform the surgery alone. It is only able to assist your surgeon who remains in complete control of the robotic arm during the entire procedure.

What activities can I do after having a knee or hip replacement?

Your surgeon will guide you through the different stages of your rehabilitation. Generally speaking, once your surgeon has given you permission, you will gradually be able to fully return to all activities and hobbies you enjoyed before your surgery. Low-impact sports are not only possible but highly recommended, such as walking, golfing, cycling and swimming.

How long does a knee or hip replacement last?

The lifespan of a hip or knee replacement varies depending on the patient’s use. The more demand placed on your new implant, the quicker it will wear out. The average lifespan of a knee or hip replacement is currently between 20 and 25 years.

What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a combination of clinical symptoms and radiological findings observed during the wear and tear of a joint. This mainly involves the smooth and slippery surface, known as cartilage, that covers our joints. This wear and tear can cause joint pain, deformity and stiffness. Almost any joint can be affected by osteoarthritis, but this condition most often involves the knees and hips.

What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?

In most cases, osteoarthritis is characterised by the onset of gradual joint pain, which can vary in intensity throughout the day and may also be present at night. In addition, stiffness, deformity and progressive muscle loss can affect the limb. In some cases, the pain can be extremely debilitating and prevent patients from living a normal life.

How is osteoarthritis diagnosed?

Osteoarthritis is diagnosed by a specialist in orthopaedic surgery, most often using X-rays of the joint. In some cases, additional medical imaging examinations may be helpful in the diagnosis.

How is osteoarthritis treated?

Initial treatment for osteoarthritis focuses on pain relief. In most cases, during the early stages of osteoarthritis, pain is relieved by analgesics, physiotherapy sessions, intra articular injections and lifestyle changes. When these measures no longer provide pain relief, your surgeon may recommend an operation to replace the painful joint with a medical implant, called an arthroplasty. The Mako robotic arm is a highly advanced technological tool that is designed to help your surgeon accurately and safely conduct the operation of the affected joint.

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