This division of orthopedic surgery involves a procedure that replaces a diseased or damaged joint with an orthopedic prosthesis. Joint replacement surgery is resorted to only after less invasive treatments have been considered and attempted.
While joints in the elbows, fingers, and ankles can be replaced, the most common areas are hip, knee, and shoulder joint replacement. Osteoarthritis, or degenerative arthritis, leads to the complete wear of the cartilage in a hip or knee. This causes the bones to rub against each other, resulting in high levels of discomfort, pain, and stiffness. This is a leading cause of hip, knee, and shoulder replacements in a patient.
Total Hip Replacement
Considered to be the gold standard for the treatment of hips with arthritis, a total hip replacement is one of the most successful surgical procedures. The steps of this procedure involve removal of the damaged bone and cartilage which is then replaced with a prosthetic component.
- A stem is inserted inside the thigh bone.
- The neck of the stem is mated with a femoral head.
- This articulates with the socket component that is fixed to the pelvic bone.
We perform anterior hip replacements on a specialized basis. No muscles or tendons are cut with this approach, which allows a fast and less painful recovery.
The materials used for the hip replacement involve a combination of metallic and ceramic pieces and will be determined by the surgeon based on each specific patient as well as pre- and post-operative factors. Most patients will need a walker for about 1 week and may drive after 2-4 weeks.
RADLink is an image based system that is used with hip replacements to allow precise placement of implants and to ensure equal leg lenth.
Partial Knee Replacement
In the event of a partial knee replacement, only the damaged area of the knee joint is replaced. The knee contains three compartments and only one or two compartments are treated which minimizes the trauma to healthy bone and tissue. Partial knee replacements are performed on an outpatient basis and can be done with robotic assistance.
Total Knee Replacement
This procedure entails the complete replacement of the worn-out cartilage surfaces of the knee joint. It is not a literal replacement of the knee itself, but instead a resurfacing procedure. Only a small amount of the bone is removed while muscles, tendons, and ligaments are left intact. The worn cartilage is replaced with prosthetic elements deigned using an alloy of cobalt, chromium and molybdenum along with a plastic component made with ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene. These materials have been utilized for more than 30 years and have proven to be successful for this procedure. Total knee replacements can be done as an outpatient or one night stay in the hospital.
Robotic assisted knee replacements can be done to allow for very precise placement of the implants to alow optimal outcomes.
Total Shoulder Replacement
A total shoulder replacement is a very effective treatment for end stage arthritis. The ball and socket joint is replaced with a metal head and plastic socket. These procedures are usually performed as an outpatient basis. After 10 days in a sling, the patient will begin therapy.
Mako Robotics For Joint Replacement Surgery
Arthritis and joint-degeneration can cause severe discomfort that only worsens over time. When replacement of the joint is deemed as the most beneficial treatment plan, it is because other less invasive alternatives have already been explored.
The MAKO specific joint replacement procedure differs from the traditional approach because it relies on the assistance of a robotic arm. Rest assured that the procedure is performed by an orthopedic surgeon who manipulates the robotic arm during the surgery. Adults with mid to late stage osteoarthritis of the knee are often candidates for total or partial knee replacement via the MAKO approach.
Prior to the procedure, a detailed surgical plan is mapped out using a patient-specific 3D model in conjunction with the MAKO system. The area where diseased bone and cartilage exist is pre-defined which minimizes the potential damage to healthy bone and tissue.
In summary, the benefits of the MAKO specific joint replacement include:
- Increased precision
- Reduced risk and improved safety to surrounding tissue
- More accurate positioning of the implant
- More natural feeling post surgery
- Decreased pain and recovery time
- Eliminates need for cement
- No need for tourniquet
- Allows to be done as an outpatient
Keep in mind that the MAKO approach is highly tailored to the specific patient and the extent of joint damage, therefore the total recovery time could vary. Be certain to adhere to all written instructions and to schedule necessary follow-up appointments to ensure a speedy and healthy recovery.