Your Location is set to:

Published on October 24, 2016

‘A major step forward’ for joint replacements‘A major step forward’ for joint replacements

Mako and Dr. ManningDr. Manning & team utilize Mako

A new form of hip and knee replacement is “a major step forward,” according to a Hyannis-based orthopedic surgeon who began using the procedure last month.

The procedure, Mako™ Partial Knee Replacement and Mako™ Total Hip Replacement, uses a robotic arm as a guide during the surgery.

“I would anticipate that within the next five or six years, all total joints are going to be put in with this method,” said William J. Manning, Jr., MD.

“The more accurately we can put in the [replacement] components, the more pain relief the patients will have and the longer the components are going to last,” he said “That’s what we’re shooting for with this new technology. It’s pretty exciting.”

Local surgeons are already using the technology at Cape Cod Hospital for hip replacements and partial knee replacements. A new version of the technology, which Dr. Manning said will be available in about three months, will be used for total knee replacement.

Only about 100 hospitals in the country have this technology in place, he added.

“We’re trying to stay on the cutting edge. We’re trying to stay competitive with Boston and New York hospitals,” he said. “They think this is the future, and when they talk, you have to listen.”

How It Works

Before the Mako surgery, the patient undergoes a CT (computed tomography) scan.

“The scan helps us decide on the size of the components and determines at what angles we put them in,” said Dr. Manning. “The computer coordinates the robotic arm to help us ream the correct depths and the right angles.”

The surgeon’s hands are still on the component and they are directing, but the machine ensures the exact placement, he said.

“Sometimes you’re in a situation in which it can be really hard to see all the anatomy,” he said. “With this, the computer is telling you, ‘OK, I figured this on the CT scan, now this is where the prosthesis has to go.’

“It’s pretty satisfying when you look at the X-rays afterwards and say, ‘Gosh, that’s really perfect.’”

There are a number of upsides to the Mako surgery, according to Dr. Manning.

“The surgeries should go quicker and it will be a lot easier on the staff because they won’t have to prepare as many instruments,” he said.

Best of all for the patients, “it will make sure the component is in even more accurately. What we’re looking at with this technology, is taking an operation that works extremely well and trying to get it from 95 percent to 99 percent.”

The Mako surgery will be particularly valuable for patients who might have to shy away from surgery because of some unusual anatomy, said Dr. Manning.