Introducing a Breakthrough Technology for Hip and Knee Pain
Orthopedic surgeons at MidState Medical Center and The Hospital of Central Connecticut began offering a new technology this year that benefits patients suffering from knee and hip pain.
Through a procedure known as MAKOplasty, this surgical technique offers patients even greater precision when it comes to total hip replacement and partial knee resurfacing. The enhanced precision is made possible by sophisticated technology called the RIO Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic System. RIO is a surgeon-controlled robotic arm system that enables accurate alignment and placement of implants.
“The biggest advantage of MAKOplasty is increased precision in placing the joint components,” said MidState orthopedic surgeon Dr. Leonard Kolstad. “That will translate into better function, less likelihood of bony impingement, better motion and more precise leg length when addressing hip replacements.” Kolstad added that it may also mean better longevity for the joint.
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Obi Osuji performed the first MAKOplasty total hip replacement procedure at MidState in July 2015. In August, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Robert Belniak performed HOCC’s first procedure. He, too, stresses the increased accuracy. “If we implant the components more accurately during a hip replacement, for example, patients have less of a chance of a dislocation or of one leg being shorter or longer than the other,” Belniak said.
The components used in hip replacement and partial knee resurfacing are not new, but every patient’s anatomy is different, so the challenge is to fit and angle the components in a way that is optimal for the individual patient. MAKOplasty begins with the patient having a CT scan in advance of surgery. “The CT scan provides a three-dimensional image,” said Kolstad. “Based on the image, you can decide preoperatively what components you want to put in and precisely what position and alignment you wish.”
“The biggest advantage of MAKOplasty is increased precision in placing the joint components. That will translate into better function, less likelihood of bony impingement, better motion and more precise leg length when addressing hip replacements.”
– MidState orthopedic surgeon Dr. Leonard Kolstad
In the operating room, an image on the computer screen guides the surgeon as he or she uses the robotic arm to perform the procedure as planned.
MAKOplasty offers a new option for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. The knee joint has three compartments. Often, only one or two compartments are diseased. But in the past, attempts to resurface individual compartments too often failed. The result has been that people have often suffered with discomfort and impaired mobility until they became candidates for a total knee replacement. Total knee replacements deliver good results, but entail a significant operation, a great deal of pain and a longer recovery.
MAKOplasty’s precision has dramatically improved results of partial knee resurfacing. “With MAKOplasty, you only resurface the surface that’s worn,” says Belniak. “You make a smaller incision than traditional total knee replacement. You preserve bone, tissue and ligaments. You place smaller components through the smaller incision, and they’re optimally positioned, so the knee moves smoothly,” he said.
Data from studies of MAKOplasty partial knee resurfacing show that, two years after surgery, the failure rate is less than 2 percent, compared to more than 4 percent with earlier techniques.
Kolstad, who has seen firsthand the evolution in orthopedic surgery during more than 30 years in practice, says he’s impressed with the new system. “MAKOplasty provides improved outcomes, more bone-sparing, a smaller incision, less scarring, less blood loss, less hospitalization and a less invasive procedure for a knee that feels more natural. I can’t see a downside,” he said.