Northern Arizona Healthcare now offering highly advanced robotic arm assisted joint replacement procedures with Stryker’s Mako system

Robotic arm of the Stryker’s Mako system

 Northern Arizona Healthcare Medical Group – Orthopedics is one of the first clinics in northern Arizona to offer robotic arm assisted total knee, partial knee and total hip replacements with Stryker’s Mako System. This highly advanced robotic technology transforms the way joint replacement surgery is performed, enabling surgeons to have a more predictable surgical experience with increased accuracy. 

“I’m very excited to be the first patient (to have Mako-assisted surgery at Flagstaff Medical Center),” said Cheri Hagl Simonet, 65, of Show Low, whose right knee was replaced on Tuesday, Aug. 18. “It seems as though I have less pain and the healing will be faster. I don’t even see any bruising. There must have been 20 people in that room for my surgery, which was exciting.” 

“The technology is remarkable,” agreed Scott Gibson, DO, who performed the surgery. “A balanced, perfectly aligned knee is going to function better in both the short and the long term – and it translates to less pain and lighter opiate use; faster recovery; less physical therapy; and a swifter return to all functional activities for patients.” 

The demand for joint replacements is expected to rise in the next decade. Total knee replacements in the United States are estimated to increase by 673 percent by 2030, while primary total hip replacements are estimated to increase by 174 percent. Yet studies have shown that approximately 30 percent of patients are dissatisfied after conventional surgery. 

“With Mako, we can provide each patient with a personalized surgical experience based on their specific diagnosis and anatomy,” said Matt Kraemer, orthopedic service line administrator. 

“Using a virtual 3D model, Mako allows surgeons to create each patient’s surgical plan pre-operatively before entering the operating room. During surgery, we can validate that plan and make any necessary adjustments while guiding the robotic arm to execute that plan. It’s exciting to be able to offer this transformative technology across the joint replacement service line to perform total knee, total hip and partial knee replacements.”  

The Mako Total Knee application is a knee replacement treatment option designed to relieve the pain caused by joint degeneration due to osteoarthritis. Through CT-based 3D modeling of bone anatomy, surgeons can use the Mako System to create a personalized surgical plan and identify the implant size, orientation and alignment based on each patient’s unique anatomy. The Mako System also enables surgeons to virtually modify the surgical plan intra-operatively and assists the surgeon in executing bone resections.  

The Mako Partial Knee application is a treatment option designed to relieve the pain caused by joint degeneration due to osteoarthritis that has not yet progressed to all three compartments of the knee. Following the personalized pre-operative plan, the surgeon guides the robotic arm during bone preparation to execute the pre-determined surgical plan and position the implant. By selectively targeting only the part of the knee damaged by osteoarthritis, surgeons can resurface the diseased portion of the knee, while helping to spare the healthy bone and ligaments surrounding the knee joint. Studies have shown robotic arm assisted partial knee replacement to be two to three times more accurate than manual partial knee replacement procedures. 

The Mako Total Hip application is a treatment option for adults who suffer from degenerative joint disease of the hip. During surgery, the surgeon guides the robotic arm during bone preparation to prepare the hip socket and position the implant according to the pre-determined surgical plan.  In cadaveric studies, Mako total hip replacement acetabular cup placement has been shown to be four times more accurate and reproducible than manual total hip replacement procedures. 

“We are proud to be the first clinic to offer this highly advanced robotic technology in northern Arizona,” said Josh Tinkle, chief administrative officer at Flagstaff Medical Center. 

“The addition of Mako to our orthopedic service line further demonstrates our commitment to provide the community with outstanding healthcare.”