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FENTON, Mo. — Nearly one million hip and knee replacement surgeries are performed annually, making it one of the most common elective procedures performed in the United States today. However, not all joint replacement procedures are created equal. Surgeons at SSM Health St. Clare Hospital – Fenton are now using Mako SmartRobotics™ for total knee and hip replacement to help patients experience optimal outcomes.

Dr. Korey Partenheimer is an orthopedic surgeon at SSM Health St. Clare Hospital in Fenton who says, “the MAKO is robotic-arm assisted technology which basically is a tool that enhances the surgeon’s ability to install and knee or hip replacement in a more precise way and make it more consistent overall.” The MAKO system can be used in partial or total knee replacement or total hip replacement.

A 3D model is created via a CT scan of the patient’s hip or knee. Dr. Partenheimer says, “it allows us to see the patient’s 3D anatomy to plan for customized implants for that specific patient. During surgery, it allows us to place the implant inside the patient for the best outcomes for that patient.”

Using the Mako® robotic-arm assisted technology enables surgeons to perform surgeries with increased precision and accuracy. Clinical studies show that Mako® improves the patient experience with less pain, less need for opiate analgesics, less need for inpatient physical therapy, reduction in length of hospital stay, improved knee flexion, and soft tissue protection in comparison to manual techniques.

Surgeons are still active in the surgery. The robot is not performing the surgery, the robot is, “another tool to make the surgery more precise and better”, says Partenheimer for surgeons to use to create better outcomes for the patients, shorter surgical time, recovery, and decreased risk of infection. The MAKO Robot provides the exact cutting guide for the surgeon.

To learn more about robotic-assisted knee or hip replacement, click here.

The SSM Health Medical Minute airs Wednesdays on News 11 at 7:00 p.m. and FOX 2 News at 9:00 p.m.