A Publication of WTVP

The demand for orthopedic procedures is set to increase dramatically over the next decade.

People are amazing! We know they have busy lives. In between daily life responsibilities and caring for those who matter most to them, there’s no slowing people down. We also know that many people are forced to slow down because of joint pain.

Knees, for example, are the largest joint in the body and the largest cause of disability in the United States—with 54 million people in need of a knee transplant nationwide. As a healthcare organization, we like to ask ourselves: How can we help people lead healthier lives, reach their goals and live pain-free? With that spirit in mind, we are excited to be the only local health system with the latest technology in orthopedic surgery. It’s called Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery.

Mako is the only robotic technology that can be used to perform total knee, total hip and partial knee replacements. It is an excellent option for patients with pain due to joint degeneration from osteoarthritis in the knee or degenerative joint disease in the hip. In addition, its capacity to facilitate a surgeon’s ability to pre-plan an operation is transforming the way surgeons perform joint replacement surgeries, with patients benefiting from lower post-operative pain levels and more accurate implant placement. With Mako, patients can expect improved surgical outcomes, less scarring, minimal hospitalization and a rapid recovery.

This new technology allows a CT scan of the patient’s hip or knee to generate a virtual 3D model. Using this 3D model, the surgeon is able to accurately assess the treatment area to develop a treatment plan prior to surgery. During surgery, the surgeon guides the robotic arm, allowing them to view the pre-planned operation and enabling the surgeon to accurately target the joint or bone while protecting the soft tissue of ligaments in the surrounding area. Following the procedure, an x-ray of the area is assessed by the surgeon, nurses and physical therapists to work on a recovery plan. The accurate placement technology allows for a shorter recovery time than traditional procedures.

Dr. Tom Mulvey, an orthopedic surgeon with Midwest Orthopaedic Center, led the implementation of the Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery to our Peoria-area campuses. Since April, dozens of Mako cases have been performed so far. We are thrilled to be the only health system in our community to offer this technology as an additional resource to help us care for who matters most at UnityPoint Health: our patients. iBi