Just five weeks after my MAKOplasty, I was back on the golf course.
– Bob, age 66
What is MAKOplasty partial knee resurfacing?
The MAKOplasty procedure is an FDA-approved treatment for patients who suffer from osteoarthritis in the inner, or medial, part of the knee.
“MAKOplasty is also an option for patients with arthritis in the patellofemoral joint, which is the kneecap and thigh joint,” says board-certified orthopedic surgeon John Krebs, MD.
MAKOplasty is the first surgery of its kind that involves robotics in orthopedics. It assures that the procedure is done with exact precision because it takes away the factor of human error.
The surgeon uses a robotic arm that gives visual, tactile and sound feedback, allowing removal of just the diseased portion of the knee. MAKOplasty spares the healthy bone and tissue in your knee and allows the surgeon to precisely place the knee implant components. Result: You’ll be back to your active lifestyle sooner.
Few surgeons offer this state-of-the-art procedure
Drs. Krebs and Stanfield answer questions about MAKOplasty partial knee resurfacing
85% of people with knee arthritis have it in only one part of the knee—usually the inside component.
Who is a candidate for MAKOplasty?
“Our MAKOplasty patients have ranged from their late 40s to their 70s, but they tend to fall into two groups:
- Younger, active patients who find they can no longer run, play tennis and do the things they enjoy because of their knee arthritis. They’re perfect candidates for MAKOplasty because we’re just resurfacing the inner part of the knee—we’re not changing their ligaments or their stability. After MAKOplasty, they’re able to do everything they could do before, without the pain.
- Older patients with arthritis. MAKOplasty is much less invasive than a total knee replacement. It’s an operation we can do through a very small incision—only two to three inches vs. eight inches for a total knee replacement—and it involves only an overnight hospital stay. Many patients can walk into the clinic without a cane two weeks after surgery.”
What is the difference between MAKOplasty and total knee replacement?
“MAKOplasty resurfaces only the part of your knee that’s arthritic. It leaves the other 2/3 of your normal knee in place—including all the ligaments. And we don’t change the alignment of your knee.
“MAKOplasty also involves minimal hospitalization, less scarring and faster recovery than total knee replacement.”
How do robotics make a difference in knee resurfacing?
“Partial knee replacement has been a fairly popular procedure since the late 1990s, but it’s fraught with complications with alignment—getting the knee replacement positioned properly—not too tight, not too loose.
“With MAKOplasty, robotics take away the potential for human error, allowing us to put the implant in precisely based on the individual patient’s condition and anatomy.
“The key with any kind of knee replacement, whether partial or total, is the placement of the components. The better you can place those components anatomically, the better chance that they will last and not wear out—and that’s what robotics does.”
Does insurance cover MAKOplasty?
“Like other knee resurfacing procedures, MAKOplasty is typically covered by health insurance. The Center for Orthopedics accepts a wide range of insurance plans. Please call our office at 440.329.2800 if you have questions about your insurance coverage. We’ll be happy to help you.”
Can MAKOplasty stop the progression of arthritis?
“You can stop the progression of knee arthritis with MAKOplasty because you’re putting a stable surface on an area that continues to wear if you don’t do something with it. We believe MAKOplasty partial knee resurfacing can prevent arthritis from progressing to the point where you would need a total knee replacement.”
How fast is the recovery after MAKOplasty?
“We get people moving right away. From day one, patients get physical therapy in the hospital—helping them to get up, put weight on the knee, exercise their thigh muscles.
“You don’t have a lot of scar tissue or pain because MAKOplasty involves a smaller incision than a total knee replacement. Patients can progress through physical therapy very quickly, just as after arthroscopic knee surgery.”
Will a MAKOplasty last as long as a total knee replacement?
“Of course, a patient’s age and activities will help determine the longevity of any knee replacement components, but we believe MAKOplasty partial knee resurfacing will last as long as a total knee replacement.”
How long will I be off work after a MAKOplasty?
“You should be back to work in six weeks after your surgery.”
How soon after MAKOplasty can I drive?
“You can drive when you have control of your leg and are comfortable getting out of a car—usually the second week after MAKOplasty surgery. A lot of patients drive themselves to our office for their first post-op visit.”
How long will the MAKO partial knee replacement last?
“We don’t know yet, because the MAKOplasty is still so new. But 85% of the partial knee replacements we did 10 years ago are still doing well. Those procedures were done with guides and freehand—the MAKOplasty is more anatomically correct based on robotics.
“There’s no question that the MAKOplasty will last longer than conventional knee replacement. It may be the only knee operation you’ll ever need.”
Call 440.329.2800 for an appointment today.