Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Technology transforming knee replacement procedures

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A special machine is helping transform how knee procedures are performed.

Knee replacements are very common across the country and here in Western New York Dr. Rachala of Buffalo General Medical Center says he sees up to 500 patients a year for the procedure.

The machine called the Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Technology allows doctors to totally transform the way total knee replacements are performed.

Here’s how it works: the machine takes a CT scan of the patients knee joint and generates a 3d model of the patients unique anatomy. The surgeon then uses that model to create a customized plan for surgery.

So here’s what makes this significant: with a manual total knee procedure components of the knee replacement are put in the same way for everyone, and not customized to the patient. But with this the new robotic technology doctors can basically customize components of the knee replacement according to the patient’s knee.

A buffalo man had this procedure done in May and says it’s been a total game changer. He says he was even up and walking around the same day of his surgery

“I thought it was going to be months and months for rehab and it was going to take a long time to get back to normal activities and actually after 2 weeks after the surgery my physical therapist said that I’m actually where a patient would be at six weeks so I was like 4 weeks ahead of the game I think because of this procedure,” said Michael Mogavero of Buffalo.

“What we are able to do with the robotic technology is to place the components precisely the way they should go for the patient. Everyone is different in terms of the shape of the bones and how we need to place the components,” said Sridhar Rachala, MD, Buffalo General Medical Center Orthopaedic surgeon

Dr. Rachala says patients who get the procedure have successful outcomes and it even speeds up recovery time.

Kenmore Mercy Hospital was the first hospital in the Buffalo region to use the MAKO technology in 2007, now offering both robotic-assisted surgery for partial knee replacement and total hip replacement. The hospital will be offering total knee replacements using the MAKO system this year.

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