Published on August 29, 2016

‘Totally customized’ hip and knee surgery‘Totally customized’ hip and knee surgery


Jesse Affonso, M.D. demonstrates the Mako™ robotic arm system

Those who face a knee or hip replacement on Cape Cod will soon have new, less-invasive options that mean reduced pain, faster recovery and greater certainty of success. State-of-the-art robotic arm-guided knee and hip surgery is coming to Cape Cod Hospital, one of the few hospitals in the state to offer it.makoplasty

“This is totally customized surgery,” said Cynthia Ann Marlin, Executive Director of Perioperative Services at Cape Cod Hospital and Falmouth Hospital.

Also known as Mako™Partial Knee Replacement and Mako™ Total Hip Replacement procedures, robotic arm-guided surgery is treatment for knee problems that used to require total knee replacement. Using the precision of the robotic arm, surgeons at Cape Cod Healthcare will focus on removing only diseased bone, while helping to preserve healthy bone, according to Marlin.

“It’s the difference between filling a cavity versus pulling a tooth,” she said.

Among the benefits of the partial replacement surgeries are:

  • A smaller incision
  • Reduced blood loss
  • Less scarring
  • Faster recovery and shorter hospital stay

The robotic arm-guided technology  was recently delivered to Cape Cod Hospital. Three orthopedic surgeons will soon be performing procedures using the new system, with the first surgery scheduled to take place next month.

With the new technology, surgeons, for the first time, can customize each patient’s surgery, Marlin explained.

For example, in the case of a hip replacement, technologists perform a CT scan in advance of surgery. The image is used to generate a color-coded 3D virtual model of the patient’s unique anatomy. The model is then loaded into the system’s software and used to create a personalized pre-operative plan.

During the procedure, the surgeon guides the robotic arm during preparation of the hip socket and then positions the implant based on the personalized pre-operative plan.

“The robotic arm assures that the pre-designated path cannot be altered,” noted Marlin.

Learn more about the Mako™ robotic arm system at Cape Cod Healthcare.