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UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital

Robotic Assisted Partial Knee Replacement

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State-of-the-art robotic technology now allows UW Health joint replacement surgeons to perform partial knee replacements more accurately, more safely, and less invasively than ever before.


Our program is one of only a handful in the state to offer MAKO Surgical Corp.'s RIO® Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic System for partial knee replacement. A team of joint replacement surgeons is overseeing its introduction.


The goal? To offer younger, active patients with knee osteoarthritis the best possible long-term function.


Precise Navigation and Execution


The RIO system combines precise navigation with robot-assisted execution. First, three-dimensional anatomical data from a CT scan is fed into the RIO's computer.


The surgeon then uses that data to accurately register the pins for the implant, down to the exact degree. They can also use the data to plan the operation-perform "virtual surgery"before any incisions are even made.


Robotic Arm


This same data guides RIO's burr-tipped robotic arm during the actual surgery. The surgeon uses the burr to shape bone before placing the implants, following a predefined "envelope" of three-dimensional space. Because the burr will only operate in the appropriate space, there is no chance of an instrument slipping and injuring adjacent tissues.


Because the implants are so accurately positioned, surgeons can make smaller incisions, which translates into a quicker recovery with less pain. More accurate implant positioning may also result in better long-term function.