YORK, Maine – Since January 2016, orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Akhil Sastry began performing partial knee replacements using the Stryker MAKO Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery System at York Hospital.
He is now using the procedure on total knee replacements, and of the 150 knees he’s operated on since last January, 20 of them have been total knee replacements.
Sastry is the first surgeon on the Seacoast to use the MAKO system for a total knee replacement. He and York Hospital are one of only 25 providers worldwide to offer this innovative knee replacement procedure.
The MAKO system is a surgeon-controlled robotic arm technology that enables accurate alignment and placement of implants.
“Planning is a major component,” Sastry said. “The patient has a CT scan of the knee and the MAKO system will create a patient-specific 3-D model to pre-plan the knee replacement.”
Following the personalized pre-operative plan, the surgeon guides the robotic-arm during bone preparation to execute the pre-determined surgical plan and to position the implant. 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.
During surgery, the surgeon guides the MAKO robotic-arm with surgical equipment based on the patient-specific plan. This allows for the removal of only the diseased bone, preserving healthy bone and soft tissue, and assists in positioning the implant based on the patient’s anatomy.
“Our patients get customized procedures, tailored specifically to them,” Sastry said. “Sensors are placed on the bones and signals are sent to the robot. If the surgeon strays just one millimeter from the specific measurements, the robot will stop.”
Sastry, who is the premier robotic-assisted orthopaedic surgeon of Atlantic Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, said the robot “allows us creative license to reposition the implant in any direction we want to achieve consistent range of motion.
“The new knee feels more natural,” Sastry said. “This level of precision allows for quicker recovery and the likelihood of fewer issues for the patient once fully rehabilitated.”
Sastry is certified in both partial and total robotic-assisted knee replacements and has been selected to be one of 15 surgeons to teach this technology to other orthopaedic surgeons worldwide. Sastry will be participating in multiple educational programs throughout the country teaching the full knee replacement on the robotic platform.
“By using this new technology, it results in a home run every time,” Sastry said.