One of the most common types of arthritis, degenerative or osteoarthritis is a result of the loss of the firm, resilient cartilage that surfaces the bones articulating to form a joint. The knee is considered to have three “compartments” the medial (inner side), lateral (outer side), and the patellofemoral (kneecap joint). It is not uncommon for only one or two of the compartments to have relatively severe arthritis while the remaining areas of the knee remain very healthy. Tenderness on examination, leg alignment, range of motion, strength and stability of the knee are assessed. X-rays help identify the location and severity of the arthritis. Conservative measures include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, activity modification, cortisone and viscosupplementation injections and occasionally bracing.
If conservative measures fail to provide acceptable relief and the knee is only arthritic in one or two compartments, a partial knee replacement may be a very attractive option. An innovative new treatment has become available (Makoplasty) which harnesses the precision of a robotic arm. Prior to surgery, the location and extent of the bone removal for the new implant surfaces is precisely mapped. Refinements permit the optimal position, alignment and orientation of the replacement to be achieved. A minimally invasive approach is made to expose the knee surfaces. Using computer navigation, the position and orientation of the knee joint surfaces can be precisely determined. A robotic arm controls the position of the resection burr and removes exactly the amount of bone from each surface that has been programmed into the computer. A metal runner is cemented onto the thigh bone (femur) and a metal tray onto the upper surface of the leg bone (tibia). A plastic spacer is then inserted into the tray to complete the partial knee replacement. You can expect the ability to return to an active, healthy lifestyle following a Makoplasty partial knee replacement.
Makoplasty Partial Knee Replacement Animation: