4 things to know about Mako joint replacement surgery
If hip or knee pain is keeping you from doing the things you love, you’ve probably thought about joint replacement surgery. But if you’ve hesitated because you weren’t sure what recovery would be like, it’s time to take a look at Mako® robotic-arm–assisted surgery.
1. Mako makes recovery easier.
“The robotic arm provides stability and precision, allowing surgeons to be more accurate and less invasive, leading to faster recoveries,” explains orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Michael Sobolewski.
Patients have been known to leave the hospital in as little as 8 hours after surgery and, if they follow the recommendation of their physical therapists, back to work in a few weeks.
2. The robotic arm does not replace the surgeon.
“The robotic arm is a tool,” explains Dr. Sobolewski. “It’s an incredible tool — state-of-the-art technology that I’m happy to have at my fingertips — but still, a tool. Mako does not perform surgery, nor can it make decisions on its own without a surgeon guiding it to execute the personalized surgical plan.”
3. Mako matches your anatomy.
Robotic-arm–assisted surgery usually begins with a CT scan of a patient’s joint, which is used to generate a 3D virtual model of that person’s unique anatomy. The virtual model is loaded into the Mako system’s computer and the surgeon uses it to create a personalized plan for the upcoming operation.
“The Mako system lets me evaluate my patient’s bone structure, alignment, joint space and surrounding tissue to plan the implant location, select the appropriate size and ensure accurate alignment,” says Dr. Sobolewski. “And since joint surgery success is largely based on correct sizing and placement, Mako’s accuracy improves function and longevity, making it less likely that a patient will ever need another surgery on that same joint.”
4. Mako surgery has come to Lewistown.
Geisinger was the first healthcare provider in northeast and central Pennsylvania to offer hip and knee surgeries using the Mako robotic arm assistant. As of June 2020, Mako is also available at Geisinger Lewistown Hospital. In fact, it’s the only location in the region where this technology is offered and two surgeons are certified to perform Mako procedures — Dr. Sobolewski and his colleague, Dr. Suresh Patil.
“Summer is here, and joint pain shouldn’t keep you from enjoying the great outdoors, or for that matter, playing with your grandkids,” says Dr. Sobolewski. “If nonsurgical therapies have stopped working for you, or haven’t worked for you in the past, I encourage you to think about Mako. You don’t have to live with joint pain.”
Seeking OTC pain relief? Read our guide.