Medical Monday: MAKO robotic arm changes hip and knee surgeries

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) - Many patients who are told they need a knee or hip surgery anticipate large incisions and a long downtime. But now robotic assisted joint replacements using the MAKO robotic arm are changing the way these procedures are performed.

"As you get arthritis, you exercise, depending on what your job is, you can wear different components of your knee. So this allows them to go in and just take off the damaged part of the knee, the part of the knee that needs just a partial implant, and it's minimally invasive," Beverly Little, operating room clinical manger, said.

Surgeons at Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center are using the MAKO for partial knee replacement and anterior hip replacement surgery.

The robot helps guide the surgeon in the cuts that are made. There's basically a 3D model of your hip or knee that surgeons can use as a guide.

"At the day of surgery, we put your CAT scan into the computer, and it pinpoints the exact location of the cuts. So, with the MAKO, it's surgeon guided, so he actually guides the robot and using the technology that we have can get the perfect cuts to make your implant fit," Little said.

Little said in the next few months the hospital will be getting software to be able to perform total hip replacements using the MAKO.