New Method for Hip and Knee Surgery Speeds Up Recovery, Lessens Pain

August 17, 2017 David Shephard, MD


Some of the most ordinary activities – like walking your dog, kicking a ball with your grandchild, grooming your garden or swinging a golf club – can be really difficult and painful when you’re suffering from severe hip or knee pain.

More than 30 million adults in the United States are affected by osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint that affects hips, knees and hands. Some are able to control this pain through exercise or medications, while others require more extensive measures such as surgery. In fact, close to 7 million Americans are living with a hip or knee replacement, according to a 2015 report in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.

Covenant Health in West Texas recently began offering MAKOplasty®, a technology taking partial knee resurfacing and total hip replacement surgery to a new level of precision. To determine if you’re someone who suffers from osteoarthritis of the knee or hip who may benefit from this procedure, learn more below from David Shephard, MD, of Lubbock Sports Medicine, an orthopedic surgeon currently performing MAKOplasty® in Lubbock, Texas.

What is MAKOplasty® and how is different from traditional surgery?

This new procedure is performed using the Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic System (RIO®), which allows your surgeon to operate with greater control and precision. For knees, this technology enables the surgeon to complete a patient specific pre-surgical plan that details the technique for bone preparation and customized implant positioning using a CT scan of the patient’s own knee. For hips, the system provides a patient-specific 3-D image of the patient’s hip based on a pre-operative CT scan. Using the 3-D model, the surgeon can then plan the best size and position of hip implant components.

With traditional surgeries, it is often challenging to get hip implants positioned correctly, which is an important aspect in improving surgical outcomes and the lifespan of the implants used, says Dr. Shephard. “This technology enables more accurate alignment and positioning of implants,” he says.

MAKO partial knee replacement is for the patient with knee arthritis that only involves one area of the knee. Compared to a traditional total knee replacement, Dr. Shephard says “this innovative process helps repair patients’ knees in a less invasive way, preserving more of the patient’s natural knee while speeding up recovery.”

“The benefit with MAKOplasty® is that recovery time can be shorter, pain may be less, and more natural function may be recovered,” he says.

Who should consider MAKOplasty®?

If you’re someone who suffers from degenerative joint disease in your knees or hips and your pain can no longer be controlled through medication, exercise or other non-surgical treatments, you may be a candidate for MAKOplasty® hip or knee replacement. Some other signs your doctor may look for include:

  • You limp to reduce the weight-bearing pressure on the affected hip
  • You’re in pain while putting weight on the affected hip
  • Your pain radiates to the groin, lower back or down the thigh to the knee
  • You suffer from hip pain or stiffness when walking or during other impact activities

I’m interested in learning more about MAKOplasty® – what are the next steps?

If you suffer from knee or hip pain, ask your physician about the best treatment options available based on your unique medical history. If you live in the Western United States, click here and select your region to find a quality orthopedic surgeon.

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.


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