Although the term robotic surgery might conjure something out of a science fiction novel, it's actually the surgeon who is performing the surgery. The robot is a mechanized arm to which very small tools have been attached. One of the important aspects of robotic surgery is the computer that is an integral part of the machine. The surgeon sits at the computer station and directs the movements of the robotic arm. Robotic surgery is beneficial because it is so precise and smaller incisions are used because of the small tools.
MAKO is a name for a brand of robotic surgery made by Stryker. The company acquired the technology from the Mako Surgical Corporation. Plasty is a medical term meaning molding, grafting, or the formation of a specific part. A MAKOplasty could be any one of several orthopaedic procedures used to create a new artificial joint using the robotic surgery arm. The computer system uses 3-D modeling to create a new joint that best fits the individual patient.
Joints are places in the body where two bones come together. Each bone is cushioned by cartilage that can eventually wear, causing pain and stiffness. The Arthrosurface is a system that covers and protects the remaining healthy cartilage. In the case of the knee, the Arthrosurface can be used in different parts of the joint to create what is essentially a new joint surface.
A total joint replacement is pretty much what it sounds like. In this surgical procedure, a damaged or diseased joint is removed and replaced with metal, ceramic or plastic parts (called a joint prosthesis). The replacement joint is designed to function just like a normal joint. Hip and knee replacements are the most common, but joints can also be replaced in the ankle, wrist, shoulder, and elbow. All of these are considered major surgeries and a lengthy rehabilitation period is necessary.
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