Mako Partial Knee
By Amelia Son, PTA
Each MAKO Partial Knee is specific per patient and is performed with the MAKO Robotic-Arm Assisted Technology. This technology allows patients to have a unique surgical procedure that is specific to their anatomy. This means that patients can be spared the destruction of good and healthy bone and tissue and only have replaced areas with heavy arthritis and joint degeneration. This is achieved through the creation of a 3D virtual model of one’s knee which is loaded into the MAKO system to create a specific operative plan and choice of implant.
In the Operating Room
The MAKO Partial Knee is performed with a robotic-assisted arm which is guided by the orthopaedic surgeon. The newly developed tactile guidance system allows the surgeon to do the replacement through a small 2-3 inch incision. The MAKO system also allows for adjustments to be made while in surgery if needed. While the diseased bone is being removed, the system will prevent the surgeon from going outside of pre-determined boundaries to avoid destruction of healthy bone and tissue. This also helps with proper alignment and accurate placement of the implant.
Benefits of the MAKO Partial Knee
There are a few benefits to MAKO Partial Knee which are noteworthy and are listed below:
- Shorter hospital stay – about 24 hours
- Minimal blood loss
- Quicker and easier rehabilitation
- Smaller two to three inch scar vs. eight inch or larger for total knee replacement
- Faster return to active lifestyle
- Surgery lasts about one hour
- Back to driving within about two weeks
Common Symptoms of Candidates
There are some common symptoms that most MAKO Partial Knee candidates have, but each treatment must be determined from individual circumstances and anatomy. The following are the shared common symptoms:
- Pain with walking short distances
- Pain when standing for periods of time
- Noticeable swelling in the knee
- Knee giving out or locking during normal activity
- Minimal response or relief from non surgical treatment: rest, physical therapy, weight-loss, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication
These symptoms are often the cause of osteoarthritis in the joint. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative bone disease which causes breakdown of cartilage found on joints. This breakdown in healthy joints removes the buffer between bones in the joint which causes pain during normal activity. This can ultimately lead to loss of motion, severe pain, and malalignment of the knee joint.
How long will the implant last?
The implant put in during a MAKO Partial Knee has a different shelf life per patient situation. The following impacts the longevity of the implant:
- Weight of patient
- Activity level
- Quality of bone stock
- Proper alignment of implant
- Compliance with orders of Doctor
What will therapy be like?
Since the MAKO Partial Knee is less invasive than a total knee, therapy is often times shorter and previous level of activity is met faster than if a total knee replacement is performed. Patient will be evaluated for strength and range of motion, and a plan of care will be created using patient and therapist goals. Patient will be instructed in strengthening exercises and stretches to reach prior level of activity and function. Full weight bearing on the surgical lower extremity is often not a problem and more advanced functional exercises can be implemented sooner.