MAKOplasty® Knee 

Do you suffer from knee pain? If so, you’re not alone.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, more than 21 million people in the United States suffer from knee osteoarthritis. A degenerative joint disease and considered the most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis is caused by the breakdown and eventual loss of cartilage in the knee — resulting in bones rubbing directly against each other. This can lead to severe joint pain, deformity and loss of movement. If you suffer from osteoarthritis in either knee, Atlanta Medical Center now offers an innovative treatment option that might be right for you.

What is MAKOplasty®?

MAKOplasty® is a robotic arm-assisted surgical procedure designed to relieve the pain caused by joint degeneration due to osteoarthritis. At Atlanta Medical Center, MAKOplasty® is currently being used to treat the damaged part of the knee, while sparing the surrounding healthy bone and ligaments. This procedure is referred to as partial knee resurfacing.

MAKOplasty® partial knee resurfacing:

  • Allows surgeons to precisely resurface only the arthritic portion of the knee
  • Preserves healthy tissue and bone
  • Relieves pain and restores range of motion
  • Produces a more natural-feeling knee motion following surgery
  • Results in a speedier recovery and shorter hospital stay than traditional total knee replacement surgery

Unlike other surgical procedures, MAKOplasty® can often be performed through a four to six inch incision over your knee with small incisions in both your femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin). During the procedure, the affected portion of the knee is resurfaced. This spares healthy bone and surrounding tissue. An implant is then secured in the joint to allow the knee to move smoothly again.

Take a look at these results comparing MAKOplasty® to traditional knee replacement surgery.

Traditional Knee Surgery versus MAKOplasty®

Traditional Knee Replacement*


Average Hospital Stay

3 - 7 days

1 - 3 days

Average Recovery Period

6 - 8 weeks

Aprox 2 weeks

Average Incision Length

8 - 10 inches

2 - 3 inches

Surgical Summary

Total knee replacement (damaged and healthy bone/tissues)

Resurfacing of damaged
bone/tissues only

*American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease characterized by the breakdown and eventual loss of joint cartilage. Cartilage is a protein substance that serves as a cushion between the bones of a joint. With osteoarthritis, the top layer of cartilage breaks down and wears away, causing the bones under the cartilage to rub together.

Although the root cause of osteoarthritis is unknown, the risk of developing it is influenced by multiple factors such as age, gender and inherited traits that can affect the shape and stability of your joints. Other factors can include a previous knee injury, repetitive strain on the knee, improper joint alignment, being overweight and exercise-related stress placed on the knee joints.

How does MAKOplasty® work?

The RIO Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic System is a three-dimensional system. During surgery, the RIO provides the surgeon with real-time visual, tactile and auditory feedback to facilitate optimal joint resurfacing and implant positioning. This level of precision can result in a more natural knee motion following surgery.

If I have MAKOPlasty®, what can I expect?

MAKOplasty® can be performed as either an inpatient procedure or on an outpatient basis, depending on what your orthopedic surgeon determines is right for you. Inpatient hospital stays average anywhere from one to three days.

In many cases, patients are permitted to walk soon after surgery, drive a car within two weeks and return to normal activities shortly thereafter.

What is the lifespan of a MAKOplasty®, implant?

The lifespan of an implant depends on several factors including your weight, activity level, bone strength and compliance with your physician’s orders. Using robotic surgery helps to ensure optimal alignment and position. This results in a longer lifespan for the implant, as well as decreased pain and a shorter recovery time.

The implants allow your physician to treat one or two of the three knee compartments that can potentially be affected by osteoarthritis. Because very little bone is actually removed during a MAKOplasty®, procedure, the implants can be replaced in the future with another procedure, such as a total knee replacement, should that become necessary.

Is MAKOplasty® covered by insurance?

MAKOplasty® is a knee arthroplasty procedure that is typically covered by all Medicare approved health plans. Private insurance plans vary, so check with yours to confirm coverage. Both your surgeon and the hospital will verify your insurance coverage and applicable co-pays and/or deductibles before scheduling your surgery.

Attend a FREE “Living without Joint Pain” Seminar or find out more by calling 404.265.KNEE.