Robotic-Aided Precision Means Faster Recovery and More Mobility

We once thought that robotic surgery was far off in the future. At Allegheny Health Network (AHN), the future has arrived.

Meet Mako™, robotic-arm-assisted technology that’s helping orthopaedic surgeons replace hip and knee joints at Saint Vincent Hospital in Erie, the only hospital in the northwestern Pennsylvania region that is using Mako. The Mako procedure is six times more precise than is possible with manual techniques.

Transplant patients who recover sooner, and walk with ease, are living proof that the precision provided by a skilled surgical team and robotic technology are a key combination for better health.

Robotic arm helps restore knees and hips

With the Mako robotic-arm-assisted technology orthopaedic surgeons at Saint Vincent Hospital and other AHN hospitals can perform minimally invasive surgery. Mako partial knee resurfacing surgery and Mako total hip arthroplasty allow:

  • The diseased tissue of the knee to be resurfaced, saving healthy bone and tissue, and keeping a patient’s knee implant moving smoothly
  • Patients to recover from degenerative hip disease by restoring their mobility  

Benefits of both of these surgeries include:

  • Smaller incisions and less scarring
  • Improved accuracy and precision with surgery
  • A shorter hospital stay and a quicker recovery

Surgeons push the frontiers of medicine

Saint Vincent Hospital is one of five AHN hospitals to receive Highmark’s Blue Distinction® Center+ designation for Knee and Hip Replacement part of the national Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. 

“Accuracy is key in planning and performing knee and total hip procedures,” said Dr. Robert Lupo, a surgeon with the Saint Vincent Orthopaedic Institute. “For the ideal outcome, you have to align and position the implants just right, and Mako allows us to achieve optimal results at a level of accuracy and reproducibility previous unattainable.”

Dr. Michael Seel, orthopaedic surgery director at West Penn Hospital, and Dr. Timothy J. Sauber, are two orthopaedic surgeons at AHN using this cutting-edge technology to help patients recover faster.

“In hip replacements, this technology can help relieve patients’ chronic arthritis pain while giving them a greater range of motion,” said Dr. Sauber.

“The Mako robotic-assisted arm makes smaller incisions and is less invasive than traditional surgery, and could help some patients avoid a total knee replacement,” said Dr. Seel. 

“Both surgeries with Mako generally allow patients to go home within a few hours of surgery, after a few hours of walking, assisted by a physical therapist,” Dr. Seel added. “It’s revolutionary technology that’s helping us advance the future of patient care.”

Mako is a registered trademark of Stryker Mako

Learn more about repairing knees and hips

  • Leading-edge joint replacement
  • Living proof: hip replacement patient walks away from pain
  • In and out, same day care
  • Robots ease joint replacement surgeries