MAKO Knee System

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MAKO Knee System


Have you had enough of osteoarthritis pain? Has conservative treatment not helped your pain?

Is it time to get your knee replaced?

Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance and our team of surgeons use the most advanced medical treatments both in and out of the operating room. One of the most recent advancements in knee replacement is the Mako Robotic Arm Assisted Surgery System.

Surgeons who use robotics in the operating room have the ability to customize your treatment based on your own unique anatomy, resulting in excellent patient outcomes.


Mako joint replacement surgery uses a surgeon-directed robotic arm for precision alignment and placement of knee replacement implants.

First, your surgeon will do a CT scan of your damaged joint.

Then, the CT scan of your knee is loaded into the Mako system, where  a 3D virtual model of your joint is created. This 3D model allows your surgeon to see exactly what needs to be done in your knee replacement surgery and creates a detailed preoperative plan. Your bone structure, disease severity, joint alignment, and surrounding tissue is assessed and the proper size, placement, and alignment of your implant is determined..

During surgery your surgeon will use your customized plan and guide the Mako robotic-arm to remove only the damaged bone, taking only what is necessary and leaving your healthy bone and tissue in place. Mako provides a virtual boundary based on the preoperative plan, assisting  your surgeon with laser accuracy.

Next, your surgeon will use the Mako system to precisely place and align the implant.

The Mako system provides real-time data to your surgeon about the movement and tension of your new joint so that the surgeon can adjust as necessary to give you outstanding outcomes..

We get a lot of questions about what is a robot? What does it do? How does it make you more accurate and more precise in surgery? So, what we wanted to do is go through all this and walk you through here. This is a Sawbones model or practice or demo model where we’re going to be able to show you some of the things that the robot can do.

This is our robot. This is called the Mako robot with Stryker Orthopedics, and this is the one that we’ve been using here for well over three years now. And we’ve done well over a thousand cases with this now, and it’s worked exceptionally for us.



In our model and everything we’re working with, we have different parts. We have the arrays. Those are the things that allow the computer to know where the bone and the legs are in space. It also has an array that lets us know where the robot is in space, and then we work off our computer system here to make all of our adjustments during surgery.


So, what we’re able to do with patients after we’ve gotten in the OR, we’ve already done our CT scan, and we get to the point of making the decision of where we place the parts, we take real-time data with the patient’s ligament balance and the position of their knee. And we’re able to adjust these parts so that each patient’s knee has the most optimal balance for that patient.


So, at this point, we’ve mapped out our knee, we’ve made the decision on where all of our implants are going to go, and really the case is pretty much over. Now we just have to execute that plan with the robot. What this allows us to do, because of the haptics in the arm of the robot, which allows it to know where it is in space and stop us if we are more than half of a millimeter off from where we planned, it allows us to execute that plan with the most precision we’ve ever been able to do.

So, we bring the robot in and as I position it here, I’m looking at my screen, working with it, and I just have to squeeze this trigger and it aligns to the perfect alignment of where we’ve planned our cut. It won’t do anything if I’m not squeezing the trigger. So, the surgeon’s in control of that, but it won’t start until I grab or squeeze it, but it’ll also hold it in that plane. So, if I try to move out of that plane, it shuts off and won’t work. So then we can bring it back in and you can look at our boundaries there and we’ve set boundaries all around the bone to protect the ligaments and the soft tissues of the knee.

So we would then repeat this process through the additional cuts. There are another five different cuts that we would have to make on the femur to complete the knee replacement cuts. And then we really put in trial parts, check everything one more time, and then we put in our final parts, and the surgery is complete.

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