Walking Away from Pain with a New Hip

Anna’s hip condition made it difficult and painful to walk. She found new hope with the orthopaedic team at Allegheny Health Network. They were the first surgeons in the region to perform robotic-assisted hip replacement procedure: Mako™ total hip arthroplasty. She was walking down the hall to deliver her thanks to her surgeon — just four hours after surgery, living proof that innovative surgical options keep our patients walking tall.

Mako is a trademark of Stryker Corporation.

Robotic arm lends a hand on a hip

West Penn Hospital orthopaedic surgery director Dr. Michael Seel, and Anna’s own orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Timothy J. Sauber, helped her understand what to expect from her Mako total hip arthroplasty.

It is designed for patients like Anna with degenerative hip joint disease. Mako can minimize complications and shorten recovery time. Other benefits of Mako include:

  • Improved accuracy in hip placement using a surgeon-controlled robotic arm
  • A more precise fit, which could decrease the need for a shoe lift
  • Less risk that the implant and bone will abnormally rub together, which may help the implant last longer 

Cutting-edge technology

Mako uses a computed tomography (CT) scan of a patient’s joint to create a three-dimensional map of the surgical area. Then, the surgeon uses the robotic arm to cut with precision, leaving healthy bone and tissue intact. The Mako technology can be used in both total hip and partial knee replacements. It has many additional benefits, including:

  • Smaller incisions and scars
  • Less blood loss
  • Quicker recovery time and shorter hospital stays

Doctors see a dramatic difference

“Anna has made tremendous progress since undergoing the Mako procedure,” said Dr. Sauber. “In only four hours after her initial surgery and some minor physical therapy she was able to walk unassisted — and give me and our staff big thank you hugs. It was a great moment for everyone.”

“For patients who qualify, using the Mako Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopaedic system can make a drastic difference in their overall comfort and recovery time — reducing the timeframe from months to weeks,” he added.

Advanced treatment close to home

Physicians perform Mako partial knee resurfacing and total hip arthroplasty at:

  • Allegheny General Hospital
  • Saint Vincent Hospital
  • West Penn Hospital

Learn more about Mako