Robotic-assisted hip and knee replacement is a treatment option for patients with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee that has been refractory to conservative treatments. The Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted system provides each patient with a personalized surgical plan based on each individual’s unique anatomy. A pre-operative computed tomography (CT) scan of the hip or knee joint is obtained. The scan is uploaded into the Mako software allowing a virtual three-dimensional model of the joint to be created. This model can be used for precise templating and pre-operative planning prior to even entering the operating room.

Once the plan is finalized, we can proceed with the operation. The patient is brought into the operating room and the surgical approach to the hip or knee joint is performed. The hip or knee joint is registered and matched with the pre-operative CT scan. The Mako system then provides real-time feedback on technical elements of the patient’s joint such as ligament tension, leg length discrepancy, and offset measurements. Based on this information Dr. Bawa can make further fine adjustments on the component position as needed. Next, the bone preparation takes place with the use of the Mako Robotic-Assisted Surgical Arm. The entire procedure is performed by Dr. Bawa who guides the Mako Robotic-Arm during surgery to ensure accurate and precise component placement. The Mako Robotic-Arm is a tool that the surgeon uses during the operation; it does not perform surgery, make decisions on its own, or move without the surgeon controlling the robotic arm.

What are the advantages of using the Mako system?

The Mako robotic arm allows accurate placement of components during hip and knee replacement procedures. The use of these technologies enables the surgeon to perform minimally invasive hip and knee replacement with increased surgical precision and minimal soft tissue injury. This translates into shorter hospital stays, less pain, and faster recovery for patients.

Why do I need a CT scan prior to my surgery?

Plain radiographs obtained in the office offer a two-dimensional view of the hip or knee joint. The Mako system utilized a pre-operative CT scan to establish a three-dimensional model of the hip or knee joint that allows individualized pre-operative planning and component positioning.

How long has the Mako procedure been available?

The first Mako procedure was a partial knee replacement performed in June of 2006. Since that time, over 83,000 Mako hip and knee replacement procedures have been performed around the world. The Mako total knee replacement was first performed in 2016.

Does the Mako robotic-arm actually perform surgery?

No, the robotic-arm doesn’t perform surgery, nor can it make decisions on its own or move without the surgeon guiding it.

How long do knee implants last?

The robotic arm is a tool that is used to place implants accurately and precisely. The implants used for hip and knee replacement have been in the market for decades and have good long term survivorship data. For most patients, the implants should last for the rest of their lives.

Is Mako covered by health insurance providers?

Most insurances, including Medicare and Worker’s Compensation plans, cover the use of the robotic arm. We pre-authorize the Mako surgery with your insurance just like we would a standard hip or knee replacement and then our billing team provides the patient with estimates in terms of cost and out of pocket expenses. Feel free to reach out to our office if you would like to inquire about your specific insurance.

Does Dr. Bawa also perform non-robotic or standard hip and knee replacements?

Yes, Dr. Bawa has been trained extensively on primary and complex hip and knee replacement surgery. For patient’s who are not candidates for robotic-assisted hip or knee replacement, he is well trained on the most advanced techniques in standard minimally invasive knee replacement and anterior hip replacement.

Where is the surgery performed?

The Mako system is only available at the Thousand Oaks Surgical Hospital (TOSH) which is on the same campus as our Thousand Oaks clinic location.

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