Updated 8/11/21

Updated Visitation Policy (8/11)

Effective August 11, 2021 at 7:00 AM, we have updated both hospitals' Visitation Policy: Non-COVID inpatients are now allowed one overnight visitor and one nonrotating support person during the day. Read the full policy for details here.

Robotic Joint Replacement

About Mako

Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted TechnologyMako Robotic-Arm Assisted Technology provides you with a personalized surgical plan based on your unique anatomy. First, a CT scan of the diseased hip or knee joint is taken. This CT scan is uploaded into the Mako System software, where a 3D model of your hip or knee is created. This 3D model is used to pre-plan and assist your surgeon in performing your joint replacement procedure.

In the operating room, your surgeon follows your personalized surgical plan while preparing the bone for the implant. The surgeon guides the robotic-arm within the pre-defined area and the Mako System helps the surgeon stay within the planned boundaries that were defined when the personalized pre-operative plan was created. In a laboratory study, Mako Total Knee Technology demonstrated accurate placement of implants to a personalized surgical plan. This study also showed that Mako Total Knee replacement demonstrated soft tissue protection to the ligaments around the knee. In patient and laboratory studies on Mako Total Hip and Partial Knee replacement, Mako Technology demonstrated accurate placement of implants to a personalized surgical plan.

The Benefits of Robotic Surgery for Joint Replacement

Patients affected by chronic joint pain caused by overuse, injury or arthritis, who have tried conservative treatment methods without success, may elect for a partial or total joint replacement to restore their quality of life.

With advancements in joint replacement surgery, such as Mako robotic-arm assisted technology, patients experience an entirely different surgery from start to finish.

The Mako Plan

Before surgery, patients meet with their orthopaedic surgeon to develop a preoperative plan. During the appointment, the orthopaedic surgeon takes a computed tomography (CT) scan of the joint, which is used to build a 3D model of each patient’s exact anatomy. The orthopaedic surgeon uploads the CT images into the Mako system to plan the procedure beforehand and to guide the incisions he or she will make with the robotic-arm during surgery. This can lead to the potential for smaller incisions and less blood loss for patients.

Surgical Benefits

Precision and accuracy during surgery determine how well a new joint works for patients and how long it lasts. With Mako’s technological advancements, including the ability to guide a surgeon’s every move and keep him or her within the predefined surgical boundary, the surgeon is able to remove diseased bone while sparing healthy bone and surrounding soft tissue.

“The Mako machine will not allow bone removal outside of the preplanned area unless it’s a special circumstance,” says Clinton Ray, MD, board-certified orthopaedic surgeon at Northeast Alabama Regional Medical Center. “It’s another layer of safety for patients.”

Another benefit of using the Mako system for joint replacement surgery is that the surgeon can place an implant within a millimeter of precise alignment.

“One of the most common problems with hip replacements is keeping both legs as close to the same length as possible,” Dr. Ray says. “No human can place a new joint that accurately, but the templates created within the Mako system allow us to get a precise placement.”

Postsurgical Therapy

After surgery, a physical therapist will guide patients through short periods of standing and walking with their new joint before they are released from the hospital. Once home, patients will begin outpatient physical therapy for up to six weeks or as recommended by a physical therapist.