Partial Knee Replacement (Makoplasty)
Our knees usually work so smoothly and so painlessly that we barely notice now often we use them throughout our lives, bending and moving them constantly to walk, run, hike, swim, ride a bike, and live our normal active lives. Unfortunately, injury, age, or any number of degenerative conditions can affect the knees, causing severe pain, limiting range of motion, and preventing us from living the lives we want to live. If non-surgical treatments are no longer effectively relieving the discomfort in your knee, it may be time to explore surgical options aimed at replacing part or all of the affected joint.
For individuals who are suffering from pain or degeneration in only one part of the knee, a MAKOplasty partial knee replacement can be an effective, long-term solution that will allow them to return fully to their active lifestyle. A MAKOplasty partial knee replacement involves the use of a CT scan of the knee to accurately identify which part of the knee is damaged, create a customized surgical plan to address the issue, and build a unique, individualized implant that will replace only that specific part of the knee. During the surgery, the surgeon utilizes a robotic arm to resurface only those areas that are damaged and fit them exactly to the patient’s prosthetic. This precise, detailed approach increases the longevity of the implant and results in a rehabilitated knee that feels and acts more like your natural joint.
MAKOplasty partial knee replacement is a technologically-advanced treatment option involving cutting-edge computerized assistance in both surgical plan development and the procedure itself. Unfortunately, the revision rate for a partial knee replacement, especially when conducted manually, is very high, usually because of surgeon error. So it is critical that you choose a surgeon who has extensive experience working with these advanced medical technologies and performing this particular operation.
Procedure and Recovery
MAKOplasty partial knee replacement is a perfect alternative to total knee replacement for individuals who have localized arthritis in only one or two areas of the knee. A pre-operative CT scan is required to enable the surgeon to build a unique prosthetic implant custom-designed to match each patient’s specific anatomy. During the procedure, the surgeon will make a four-to-six inch incision over the knee, with small incisions on the side of the knee if necessary. The kneecap, ligaments, and tendons will be carefully and gently moved to allow access to the damaged area. The surgeon will then utilize a precise robotic arm that has been pre-programmed to resurface only those areas that require it and to match the unique prosthetic that has been created for that patient. The prosthetic is then precisely placed onto the bone and glued in place with bone cement, while the ligaments, tendons, and kneecap are secured back into the correct location. This is a very demanding surgical procedure, and when done manually can have a high rate of error and revision. The use of the pre-programmed robotic arm decreases the chances of error considerably, leading to significantly higher success rates.
Generally, most patients will experience less discomfort and faster recovery from a MAKOplasty partial knee replacement than a traditional total knee replacement. Most patients only require a hospital stay of a day, while a few are able to leave the same day. Patients will be able to walk unassisted within hours after the procedure. Tenderness and swelling are common post-operative side effects; frequent use of icepacks and over-the-counter pain medication will be recommended. Patients who go to regular physical therapy and begin exercising the joint immediately can expect a full recovery within 2-4 weeks.