The knee is a large weight-bearing joint comprised of the femur (thigh bone), patella (kneecap), and tibia (shin bone), all of which are held together by ligaments and tendons. This joint is broken down into three compartments: lateral (outer), medial (middle), and patellofemoral (below the kneecap). Located on the ends of the bones and between the compartments are shock-absorbing cartilage and a thick lubricating fluid called synovial fluid. Together these structures allow the knee to move with a smooth hinge-like range-of-motion during daily activities such as walking, climbing stairs or running. When the cartilage of the knee starts to wear down, and the surfaces of the underlying bones become exposed, they begin to rub against one another, causing pain, swelling, and joint stiffness. This condition is known as osteoarthritis (OA), often referred to as “wear and tear” arthritis or degenerative arthritis. Although several types of arthritis can affect the joints, OA is the most common, affecting over 50% of the population by age 65.
Causes of OA
While the exact cause of osteoarthritis is unknown, there are a number of risk factors that can be attributed to its onset. These include:
- Age – your risk increases with age
- Sex – women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis
- Joint injury or trauma
- Increased body weight
- Connective tissue disorders
- Joint infection
- Repetitive overuse
What is Knee Resurfacing?
If you have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, but conservative non-surgical treatment to control your pain and inflammation has been ineffective, your doctor may begin to discuss surgical options that are tailored to its location and severity. One of these potential options is known as knee resurfacing. Knee resurfacing—also known as partial knee replacement—is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that targets and removes only the damaged or arthritic surfaces of the knee while leaving its healthy bone and tissue intact.
Once the diseased bone and cartilage are removed, these areas are resurfaced by trimming and reshaping the ends of the bones. The damaged cartilage is replaced with an implant that is cemented onto the end of the reshaped bone, allowing your knee to move smoothly again. This method is a good alternative to a total knee replacement (TKR) for patients who have arthritis that is limited to only one or two compartments of the knee. Total knee replacement is a major surgery that involves the removal of the entire joint—including the ligaments—followed by the implantation of an artificial joint.
What is MAKOplasty®?
MAKOplasty® is a FDA-cleared Tactile Guidance System (TGS) treatment option for patients who are suffering from OA damage to the knee. This minimally invasive technology assists the surgeon with precision resurfacing, optimal implant placement and proper alignment of the knee. Prior to the procedure, a patient-specific 3-D virtual model of your unique anatomy is created from a CT scan of your knee that has been uploaded into the MAKO system software.
Once uploaded, your surgeon will pre-plan and isolate the damaged areas for precise, customized surgical treatment. During your surgery, the surgeon utilizes the TGS, a tactile-guided robotic arm, along with the 3-D virtual model of your bone surface to create a “safety zone.” This safety zone prevents the removal of healthy bone or cartilage lying outside of the predetermined surgical area. Once the damaged area is removed, a customized implant is secured onto the resurfaced bone. Because MAKOplasty® is a minimally invasive customized procedure, it allows for natural-feeling results and less downtime for you.
What are the Benefits of MAKOplasty®?
Results have shown that MAKOplasty® can offer several benefits. They are:
- A shorter hospital stay
- Improved outcomes such as more natural movement and increased range-of-motion
- Faster recovery time
- Minimal blood loss
- Quicker rehabilitation
- Smaller and less visible scarring
- Less pain and swelling
What are the Risks?
The risks associated with MAKOplasty® are quite low. Although, as with any surgery, there is always a danger. Some patients have a higher probability of developing complications. Your physician should discuss the associated risks and other treatment options available to you in relation to your overall health.
Who Qualifies For the MAKOplasty® Procedure?
Not everyone is qualified to undergo this procedure. You will need to speak to your doctor to determine if it is right for you. They will review your complete medical history and perform a thorough examination of your knee. This examination will include evaluating your range-of-motion, ligament stability, and whether or not you have any deformity. If your doctor determines that a surgical option is best for you, further testing such as a weight-bearing x-ray or CT scan may be done to assess the full extent of the damage.
Other up and coming treatments
Reduce joint, tissue and bone pain, increase range of motion and improve quality of life! Now it’s possible with our minimally-invasive, cell-based regenerative therapies that stimulate the body’s own repair mechanisms.
- Axiom Treatments
Regenerative therapies are revolutionizing the treatment of many chronic conditions. The patient’s physician will determine the optimum treatment for the best possible outcome.
- Platelet-Rich Plasma
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy delivers concentrated platelets directly to damaged tissues to initiate the body’s own potent healing responses to treat acute injury, inflammation or chronic degenerative disease.
- Alpha 2 Macroglobulin
Alpha 2 Macroglobulin (A2M) is a protease inhibitor that occurs naturally in the blood and inhibits the actions of proteins that damage joints and cartilage. Concentrated A2M injections help manage osteoarthritis and other degenerative conditions.