Hip replacement surgeries can relieve pain, improve function, and prevent further tissue and bone damage. Before you resign yourself to the surgical table, it helps to know what hip replacement options you have.
MAKO is a robotic technique that is gaining traction nationwide. No, MAKO is not an acronym, but rather, a robotic product that assists surgeons during joint replacements.
Learn more about what MAKO is, the pros and cons of robotic hip replacement surgery, and where the future of joint replacements is headed!
Do You Need a Hip Replacement?
As you age, the wear and tear on your joints, specifically your cartilage, starts affecting your daily life. Here are some signs you may need a hip replacement:
- Chronic hip pain
- Conservative methods not helping
- Difficulty with daily tasks (e.g., stairs, dressing)
- Limited range of motion
When you visit an orthopedic surgeon, they will likely want imaging that can give them a closer look at your joint. X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs can show bone and tissue abnormalities that indicate a hip replacement.
What is MAKO Hip Replacement?
MAKO robotic hip replacement, also known as a MAKOplasty, is a type of hip replacement. At its core, MAKO technology uses CT scans and robotics to assist with surgeries.
Before a hip replacement, you will receive a CT scan. This scan is uploaded into the robot and creates a 3D model.
Dr. Martin and his robotic-assisted arm will base the hip replacement surgery on the customized 3D model and your anatomy. The benefits of using a 3D model are:
- Better anatomical viewpoints
- Better size selection
- Better joint alignment
- Improved surgical incisions
- Enhanced visualization
The end goal is fewer surgeries, revisions and improved hip mobility and function.
MAKO Pros and Cons
Of course, there are always pros and cons to robotic hip replacement surgery. A robotic hip replacement like MAKO is extremely beneficial for patients who want an easier recovery, hip replacement customization and quicker operative times. However, there are two downsides to MAKO surgeries:
- Only licensed and fully trained surgeons hold certifications to perform MAKOplasty surgery. Not every orthopedic surgeon offers this as an option.
- Varying results are something you will experience with other types of hip replacements since each person has unique risks and reactions. Since MAKO uses robotic technology and surgical expertise, it is more likely you’ll have fewer adverse outcomes.
But the pros outweigh the cons. Studies have looked at how MAKO robotic-assisted surgeries helped patients undergoing their own procedures. The robotics surgical group saw these benefits:
- Lower postoperative pain. Patients worried less about their day-to-day activities and were more mobile after surgery.
- Reduced hospitalization means less downtime. No need for bedrest and in some cases, no need for physical therapy. Just your new hip and the ability to get back to your life.
- Improved functional scores after one year. Fewer issues following the hip replacement procedure vs. a traditional approach.
MAKO Hip Replacement vs Traditional
The main difference between a MAKO hip replacement and a traditional hip replacement is the use of robotics. Does MAKO technology replace the need for a qualified surgeon? In one word: no.
A surgeon is still needed throughout the entire surgical process. Think of the MAKO device as an extension of your surgeon. They will use the self-guided robotic arm to prepare the bone, adjust the implant, and protect soft tissues.
The device has boundaries and parameters in place that help reduce further injury to muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
Most hip replacements will last between 10 to 20 years. The timeframe carries over between traditional and MAKO-assisted hip replacements. The determinants of hip replacement longevity include:
- Preoperative damages
- Postoperative care
- Activity level
Remember that MAKO is a surgical technique and that both approaches still use similar medical devices. There is enough research to assume that MAKO joint replacements could last longer than traditional because of:
- Reduced recovery time
- Improved precisions
- Less tissue damage
Other medical comorbidities may impact longevity. Traditional approaches usually take longer and some surgeons may use outdated surgical methods.
The new gold-standard method is an anterior approach. Medical experts found four total hip replacement factors that impacted longer hospital stays:
- Longer operative times
- Preoperative serum creatinine
- Blood loss
- Using an anterolateral approach
Prolonged hospital stays can complicate your recovery, delay rehabilitation and put you at risk for a new replacement down the road.
Are Robotic Hip Replacements Here to Stay?
Medical technology is constantly advancing, and as techniques improve, hip replacement risks should be reduced. In return, longevity increases. Robotics in surgery are well-known to improve:
Over 24,000 peer-reviewed studies looked at robotic technology. In general, it has shown consistency in reducing:
- Blood loss
- Surgical complications
- Need for open surgeries
- Length of hospital stays
Overall, it has been shown to improve postoperative metrics. If you want to preserve your hip replacement past twenty years, a MAKO-assisted surgical technique could help you.
Preparing for Your Hip Replacement
If you need a hip replacement, ask Greater Phoenix Orthopedics about MAKO technology. A MAKO hip replacement is safe and effective.
It can reduce complications and hospital costs as well as improve functional outcomes. Dr. Martin is highly skilled and experienced in using innovative joint replacement technology.
Are you ready to get started? Contact us today and find out how a MAKO joint replacement could help you get back on your feet!