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The benefits of surgery with Mako robotic arm

Aug 12, 2023Aug 12, 2023

Sponsored feature | Nuffield Health Cambridge Hospital

We ask Assistant Professor Andrew Carrothers why he believes hip and knee replacements performed with the Mako robotic technology bring added benefits to his patients.

1. What are the benefits to the patient of using robotic technology versus conventional surgery?

The Mako robotic technology enables me to plan and execute my patient’s joint replacement surgery with even greater accuracy than before. The support of the Mako state-of-the-art robotic arm technology produces unparalleled levels of precision and more consistent results. A more accurate placement and alignment of the joint implant results in better performance, greater comfort for patients and less soft tissue and ligaments damage. This type of surgery is more minimally invasive and my patients spend less time on the operating table, which means they typically recover faster. Clinical studies show patients who undergo Mako-assisted surgery have better patient satisfaction scores compared to those who have conventional joint replacement surgery. Patients surveyed six months after surgery reported lower pain scores than patients who had undergone conventional surgery. The ultra precision achieved with the Mako system means that as much healthy bone as possible is preserved and this is important if revision surgery is required in the future.

2. Who can have a Mako joint replacement?

As with any kind of joint replacement surgery, Mako is offered to people with significant joint pain and limitations to lifestyle and function, due to a degenerative condition like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis or avascular necrosis. Often patients will have had less invasive treatments like physiotherapy, pain-relieving injections or key-hole joint surgery (arthroscopy) prior to considering a joint replacement. However, with the joint disease progression over time such lesser treatments usually no longer provide sufficient pain relief and functional gain, and it is at this point I will discuss joint replacement surgery with my patient.

3. How does it work?

There are two components to Mako robotic-assisted surgery. Firstly in the pre-operative planning stage the system is used to generate a virtual 3D model of the patient’s joint anatomy, based on a CT scan. This model is used to pre-plan the surgical procedure in every detail before the patient reaches the operating table. This means less time under anaesthetic, as well as a reduced risk of error. Having a detailed operative plan and using the robotic arm technology ensures that I know precisely where to cut so I remove only diseased bone and can preserve as much of the patient’s healthy bone as possible. During the surgery, the robotic arm assisted technology guides me to prepare the joint and position the implant, making minor adjustments where necessary to achieve pinpoint accuracy. The system ensures the surgeon is prevented from moving outside the pre-defined area, so they cannot inadvertently remove healthy bone. The implant can be positioned with total accuracy, based on a patient’s unique anatomy. This prevents problems occurring at a later date, such as tendons or ligaments rubbing against the replacement joint because the component positioning is suboptimal.

4. Are there any risks associated with Mako robotic arm-assisted hip and knee surgery?

All surgery carries risks and I will discuss the risks of joint replacement during your pre-surgical consultation. Clinical studies show Mako can help to reduce certain risks associated with hip replacements including more accurate alignment of hip implants based on the surgical plan, a reduced risk of blood loss and less likelihood of hip dislocation.

5. How can I find out more?

Feedback is always welcome and it’s also a great way for patients to share their experience and help new patients make an informed decision when choosing their surgeon. For more information, patients can visit to read my reviews.

Mr Carrothers will be holding free patient education evenings at Nuffield Health Cambridge Hospital on Tuesday and Thursday, September 26 and 28 at 7pm. To book your free place, call 01223 370919 or email [email protected].

Published:1. What are the benefits to the patient of using robotic technology versus conventional surgery?2. Who can have a Mako joint replacement?3. How does it work?4. Are there any risks associated with Mako robotic arm-assisted hip and knee surgery?5. How can I find out more?