Innovative MAKOplasty Assists Novant Health UVA Health System with More Precise Joint Surgery

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Sponsored by Novant Health UVA

In November 2019, Manassas resident Mary Farmer had a conventional total knee surgery. However, she was still experiencing discomfort after her recovery.

“I couldn’t get up and down without excruciating pain,” Farmer said.

When it was time to perform surgery on her other knee, John J. Kim, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon with Novant Health UVA Health System, asked her which type of surgery she would prefer.


MAKO, Novant Health UVA Health System, knee replacement

MAKO Total Knee System

For Farmer, MAKOplasty was a viable option. According to Novant Health UVA Health System, the Mako knee replacement treatment option is designed to relieve the pain caused by joint degeneration due to osteoarthritis.

“He explained to me the good and bad of the surgery,” she said. “He said it was new and Prince William [Medical Center] had the new equipment for it. I took classes on it, and it was surreal to see what the knee would look like.”

The robotic arm provides the surgeon with more precision during surgery. This happens because the surgeons can use CT-based, 3D modeling of bone anatomy with the Mako system to create a personalized surgical plan fit for the patient’s unique anatomy.

Mako may be the better fit for individuals that need either total hip replacement or total or partial knee replacement surgery because of arthritis or joint pain. The technology provides quicker recovery time than conventional surgery, allows surgeons’ surgical plans to be more accurate and protects soft tissue and ligaments from damage.

Farmer said those thinking of a similar surgery should ask their doctor as many questions as possible.

“Dr. Kim is very thorough when he explains. You feel more comfortable with the surgery,” she said.

Innovative Technology

Stephen Smith MD, Novant Health UVA Health System

Stephen Smith, M.D.

Stephen Smith, M.D., is president and chief operating officer, Novant Health UVA Health System Haymarket Medical Center and Novant Health UVA Health System Prince William Medical Center. Smith provided more information on the innovative technology.

“Mako is yet another platform, for select patients, offered in partnership with our highly trained surgeons,” Smith said. “[It] affords us the ability to provide each patient with personalized surgical care based on their specific diagnosis and anatomy.”

Mako also enables surgeons to modify the surgical plan intra-operatively and assists the surgeon in executing bone resections. By selectively targeting only the part of the knee damaged by osteoarthritis, surgeons can resurface the diseased portion of the knee while helping to spare the healthy bone and ligaments surrounding the knee joint.

One Patient’s Experience

While Farmer did experience pain after her November 2019 Mako surgery, it was not unbearable and she had a better recovery.

“I did not have much pain afterward,” Farmer said. “I had more control of my knee, [and]I stayed one night in the hospital.”

From there, Farmer went to a local rehabilitation center. She said with her conventional knee surgery, she did two weeks of rehab. After the Mako surgery, she had only one week of rehabilitation at the center.

“If I could tell anyone one thing, I would say to get it done and do not suffer with the joint pain,” Farmer said.

For Novant Health UVA Health System, Farmer’s story is just the beginning of many more success stories.

“Mary Farmer is just one of the patients we’ve had incredible success with, so we’re thrilled to now be able to offer robotic total knee, total hip and partial knee replacements at Haymarket Medical Center,” Smith said.

“We are proud to offer this highly advanced robotic technology and have an infection rate well below the national average for joint-replacement surgery.” Smith added. “By introducing Mako to our orthopedic service line, we’ve been able to uphold our promise to the community to provide them with accessible, quality healthcare.”

For more information on joint replacement, visit this Novant Health UVA Health System page:




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