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Sarah Bush Lincoln Offering Highly Advanced Robotic-Arm Assisted Joint Replacement

September 3, 2019 4:10 p.m.

Innovative robotic technology allows surgeons to personalize total knee, partial knee and total hip replacement procedures to each patient.

Sarah Bush Lincoln is offering robotic-arm assisted total knee, partial knee and total hip replacements with Stryker’s Mako System. This highly advanced robotic technology transforms the way joint replacement surgery is performed, by enabling surgeons to have a more predictable surgical experience with increased accuracy, while delivering faster recover times to patients. Joint replacement surgeries often treat joint degeneration due to osteoarthritis.

Sarah Bush Lincoln purchased two systems to accommodate its busy orthopedic practices. “With Mako, we can provide each patient with a personalized surgical experience based on his or her specific diagnosis and anatomy,” SBL Orthopedic Surgeon Peter Bonutti, MD, said. 

Prior to surgery, a CT scan is taken of the joint, the results of which are then loaded into the Mako. The Mako creates a clear picture of the bone and tissue that need to be removed in order to implant a replacement joint. “Using a virtual 3D model, Mako allows the surgeon to create each patient’s surgical plan pre-operatively— before entering the operating room. During surgery, we can validate that plan and make any necessary adjustments while guiding the robotic-arm to execute that plan,” Dr. Bonutti said. “It’s exciting to be able to offer this transformative technology to perform total knee, total hip and partial knee replacements.”

Dr. Bonutti explained that this robotic-assisted surgery is so successful because the CT scan and the Mako work in concert to effectively limit bone and soft tissue trauma. “It has proven to be less painful and to provide a faster recovery than other manual replacement procedures. This is a great addition to our program,” he said. In fact, in cadaveric studies, Mako total hip replacement acetabular cup placement has been shown to be four times more accurate and reproducible than manual total hip replacement procedures. 

SBL Orthopedic Surgeon Eric Brewer, DO, said that the Mako Partial Knee application is a treatment option designed to relieve the pain caused by joint degeneration due to osteoarthritis that has not yet progressed to all three compartments of the knee. “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. Studies have shown robotic-arm assisted partial knee replacement to be two to three times more accurate than manual, partial knee replacement procedures.”

“We are proud to offer this highly advanced robotic technology in our area,” said Greg Taylor, Sarah Bush Lincoln Vice President Practice Management. “The addition of Mako to our orthopedic service line further demonstrates our commitment to provide the community with outstanding healthcare.”

The demand for joint replacements is expected to rise in the next decade. Total knee replacements in the United States are estimated to increase by 673 percent by 2030, while primary total hip replacements are estimated to increase by 174 percent. 

For more information, go to To make an appointment with any of the Sarah Bush Lincoln orthopedists, call 217 342-3400 for the SBL Bonutti Clinic or 217 238-3435 for SBL Orthopedics & Sports Medicine.


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