Mako robotic arm-assisted surgery

Mako robotic arm-assisted surgery (also known as “Mako SmartRobotics™”) is a leading-edge orthopedic technology that allows us to perform partial or total knee replacements, and total hip replacements, using the latest in arthroplasty techniques.

UCHealth is one of only a few providers nationwide offering Mako SmartRobotics. It is a proven treatment for patients who have painful degenerative joint disease of the knee or hip and are ready for a replacement, or arthroplasty. Using a 3D virtual model of your unique anatomy and the Mako robotic arm, your orthopedic surgeon can plan and perform your joint replacement surgery.

Mother and daughter doing a one-legged yoga poseMother and daughter doing a one-legged yoga pose

The technology of Mako robotic arm-assisted surgery

During a joint replacement procedure, your surgeon cuts away damaged bone and cartilage and replaces it with artificial components made of metal alloys, high-grade plastics and polymers. Mako SmartRobotics™ technology helps your specially trained UCHealth orthopedic specialist plan and execute the joint replacement down to the finest detail:

Using Mako system software, your provider performs a computerized tomography (CT) scan before your surgery to create an operative plan. This includes how much bone to remove, and how to maximize the accuracy of the alignment and placement of the implant.

During your surgery, the robotic arm ensures that this plan is followed exactly.

In every step of your surgery, the robotic arm guides your orthopedic surgeon with tactile, visual and auditory feedback to achieve the desired placement of the individual components of the artificial joint. They must be placed in the best possible alignment to mesh together properly and work smoothly, achieving proper stability and mobility. This is one of the most difficult aspects of joint replacement surgery—the robotic arm helps ensure a successful outcome.

In clinical (partial knee¹ and total hip²) and laboratory (total knee³) studies, Mako SmartRobotics™ helped surgeons perform surgical plans more accurately.

¹Anthony I, Bell SW, Blyth M, Jones B et al. Improved accuracy of component positioning with robotic-assisted unicompartmental knee arthroplasty. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2016;98-A(8):627-35.
²Elson L, Dounchis J, Illgen R, Marchand R, et al. Precision of acetabular cup placement in robotic integrated total hip arthoplasty. Hip Int 2015; 25(6):531-536.
³Hampp E. Scholl L. Prieto M. et al. Robotic-arm assisted total knee arthroplasty demonstrated greater accuracy to plan compared to manual technique. CAOS 17th Annual Meeting. June 14-17, 2017. Aachen, Germany.

Your treatment options with Mako robotic arm-assisted surgery

Your orthopedic specialist will develop a personalized treatment plan with you, which may include robotic orthopedic surgery if joint replacement surgery is the best option for your case. We don’t recommend joint replacement surgery for patients with certain conditions, such as certain infections, compromised bone stock or skeletal immaturity, severe instability of the joint or excessive body weight.

Mako robotic arm-assisted surgery might be the best option for:

  • Knee joint replacement. Performed in individuals with joint disease resulting from degenerative, rheumatoid and post-traumatic arthritis, and for moderate deformity of the knee.
  • Partial knee replacement or partial knee arthroplasty. If only one section of your knee joint has been damaged, your orthopedic surgeon can replace only the damaged portion.
  • Total knee replacement or total knee arthroplasty. Your orthopedic surgeon replaces the entire joint.
  • Total hip replacement or total hip arthroplasty. Your orthopedic surgeon removes both sections of the ball-and-socket joint and replaces them with an artificial joint, or prosthesis. We perform hip joint replacement in individuals with joint disease resulting from degenerative and rheumatoid arthritis, avascular necrosis, fracture of the neck of the femur or functional deformity of the hip.

Robotic joint surgery might be right for you

Your case is unique. The Mako SmartRobotics™ option might be right for you, but you and your orthopedic specialist will discuss all your options so you can develop your treatment plan together.

Whatever you decide, we can help you put joint disease in the past and a pain-free future in sight.

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Pubmed: National Library of Medicine. MAKO CT-based robotic arm-assisted system is a reliable procedure for total knee arthroplasty: a systematic review (

MedlinePlus: National Library of Medicine. Robotic surgery (