Mako Robotic-Assisted Orthopedic Surgery

For State-of-the-Art Hip & Knee Replacements
Dr. P. Phillips Hospital Chief of Surgery Travis B. Van Dyke, M.D.

Would you believe that with the help of a robot and cutting-edge, 3-D computer software, you could have a perfect, custom-fit implant to revive and increase the longevity of your knees and hips? Among the various, quality orthopedic services at Orlando Health Dr. P. Phillips Hospital is the Mako robotic arm-assisted orthopedic surgery from Stryker that is revolutionizing what can be achieved in the success rate of partial knee and hip replacement surgeries.

There are five orthopedic surgeons at Dr. P. Phillips Hospital trained in the Mako robotic system, including Chief of Surgery Travis B. Van Dyke, M.D., and David A. Padden, M.D., one of the first surgeons to use the Mako system in Florida.

The goal is to ensure that a partial knee or hip replacement, with a customized implant, will create less hospital time and stress on the patient through the combined forces of surgeon and robot.

Inside Mako’s Design

The preparation for a partial knee or hip replacement surgery using the Mako robotic arm begins long before a patient is in the operating room. Initial meetings between the surgeon and the patient determine if the patient is a candidate for the Mako surgery through tests, symptoms/complaints and assessment of the patient’s previous treatments.

From there, a CT scan is performed on the knee or hip to create an individualized virtual anatomic 3-D model used in surgery to help position the implant.

The robotic arm is then brought along the patient’s bedside, where the surgeon uses the robot and burr (rotary cutting tool) to remove the bone as designated by the mapping software. This creates a precise and specific position for the implant in the patient.

“It allows you to map out the knee live in surgery with a probe that also has a tracker on it,” said Dr. Van Dyke, who regularly performs partial knee replacements at the hospital. “The robot isn’t moving it; the surgeon is moving the burr and robotic arm as it follows the trackers to not let the surgeon move it past its zone.”

For Dr. Padden, who was among the first surgeons instrumental in using the Mako system for partial knee replacements, seeing how effective the Mako system is for full hip
replacements is life-changing.

“A study by Harvard showed that about 50 percent of the time in hip replacement surgeries, the surgeon is off by 10 degrees or more,” Dr. Padden said. “With the robotic arm using synaptics [science of touch and feel], it gives surgeons a huge degree of protection and comfort; valuable in not just the planning of the surgery but the performance as well.”

Mako’s Advantages

Surgeon and patient alike experience several positive results from a Mako robotic arm-assisted orthopedic surgery. From more accurate placement of the implant to a shorter hospital stay and recovery for the patient, there is agreement among all involved that the procedure is a welcomed addition to Dr. P. Phillips Hospital’s orthopedic services.

“Compared to traditional instrumentation, what the surgeon and patient realize in using this technology is it improves your understanding on all the different parameters that you have to account for when you are doing the surgery — making the surgery easier, quicker and more precise than traditional instrumentation,” Dr. Van Dyke said.

Dr. Padden seconds the belief of Mako’s technology advantages.

“The robot can also be used to verify the position of the replacement so the surgeon can make small adjustments prior to leaving the operating room,” he said. “Hopefully, with this accuracy in placement, this means the [hip] implants will last 20 to 30 years instead of 10 to 20.”

The next step is incorporating the Mako software for full knee replacements at Dr. P. Phillips Hospital, offering state-of-the-art orthopedics to help all age ranges of patients, from the late 20s to 30s and beyond, feel able-bodied to enjoy life again.

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