Mako SmartRobotics™ for Partial Knee Replacement

Unicompartmental knee resurfacing is a surgical procedure which involves replacement of only the diseased surface of the joint instead of the entire joint. The knee can be divided into three compartments: patellofemoral, the compartment in the front of the knee between the knee cap and thigh bone, medial compartment, on the inside portion of the knee, and lateral compartment which is the area on the outside portion of the knee joint. Your doctor may recommend unicompartmental knee resurfacing if your arthritis is limited to only the medial or lateral compartments of the knee.


Arthritis is inflammation of a joint causing pain, swelling (inflammation), and stiffness. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of knee arthritis in which the joint cartilage gradually wears away. It most often affects older people. In a normal joint, articular cartilage allows for smooth movement within the joint, where as in arthritic knee the cartilage itself becomes thinner or completely absent. When arthritis affects the knee joint, it commonly occurs in two compartments, usually the medial and patellofemoral compartment. Unicompartmental osteoarthritis is a loss of the articular cartilage in only one compartment, either the medial or lateral compartments. The medial compartment is more commonly affected than the lateral compartment.


Your doctor will diagnose osteoarthritis based on the medical history, physical examination, and X-rays. X-rays typically show a narrowing of joint space in the arthritic knee.

Surgical procedure

Your doctor may recommend surgery if non-surgical treatment options such as activity modification, weight reduction, pain medications, injections, orthotic devices and physical therapy have failed to relieve the symptoms.

Unicompartmental knee resurfacing procedure can be performed with a surgical robot. The Mako robot is designed to assist surgeon with pre-surgical planning and provides optimal positioning of the implants. This procedure can substantially reduce or eliminate your arthritis pain. This surgery preserves the knee parts not damaged by arthritis as well as stabilize anterior and posterior ligaments, ACL and PCL. This surgery is useful for young and more active patients as the implant placed more closely mimics actual knee mechanics than does a total knee surgery. Another advantage of this surgery is that it will not change the ability of the patient to finally move to a total knee replacement in the future unless it is required.

The surgery is performed under sterile conditions in the operating room under spinal or general anesthesia. A small incision is made over the inside area of the knee to expose the medial compartment of the knee joint. Your surgeon will use to surgical robotic arm to remove the damaged cartilage from the medial compartment of your knee. The new artificial component is placed into the new prepared area and is secured with bone cement. Once the new components are fixed in proper place the knee is taken through a range of movements. The muscles are then repaired and the incision is closed.

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