Nathaniel Stewart, MD
Nathaniel Stewart, MD





Mako Robotic Assisted Hip Replacement


Nathaniel Stewart, MD
Chippewa Valley Orthopedics & Sports Medicine

What is Mako Robotic Assisted Hip Replacement?

Mako robotic assisted hip replacement is a surgery in which the diseased or damaged portions of the hip joint is replaced. The Mako robot assists the surgeon with placement of the components. Patients who have a damaged hip from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis (fracture, dislocation), avascular necrosis, and hip dysplasia are candidates for hip replacement using the Mako robot. The Mako robotic assisted hip replacement allows more accurate component positioning. This results in a reduced rate of hip dislocations, greater consistency in improving leg length discrepancies, and improved longevity of the hip replacement.

How Does the Surgery Work?

Prior to undergoing Mako robotic assisted hip replacement surgery, a CT scan of the pelvis is obtained to use for surgical planning purposes. Your surgeon then plans your hip replacement surgery on a computer, which is very similar to a computer aided design (CAD) work station used in many other industries. During the operation, the computer needs to “register” where your bony anatomy is in space. The surgeon uses a surgical instrument called a “pointer” to complete this process. Once the computer has registered all of the bony landmarks, and it correlates to the CT scan that was obtained prior to surgery, the surgeon may begin the process of hip replacement. During the surgery, the surgeon provides the force for placing the components of the hip replacement, while the Mako robotic arm attaches to the surgical instruments to ensure the component positioning is placed exactly as it was planned preoperatively. If the surgeon goes off plan, the Mako robot turns off the power. The Mako robot allows for a new level of precision that had not previously been available to orthopedic surgeons performing hip replacement surgery.

What are the Risks of Mako Robotic Assisted Hip Replacement?

The risks of undergoing Mako robotic assisted hip replacement are essentially identical to the risks associated with traditional hip replacement. Patients who undergo Mako robotic assisted hip replacement have an approximately 2% chance of experiencing a perioperative complication related to the surgery with the most common being an infection, deep venous thrombosis (blood clot), or a problem with wound healing. Other risks include having an adverse reaction to the anesthetic, however, this is quite rare. There is also a possibility that revision surgery would be required at some point in the future. Some of the reasons revision surgery is required include a periprosthetic fracture (fracture around the implant), infection, or loosening of the implant.

What Is Our Experience with the Mako Robot at OakLeaf Surgical Hospital?

OakLeaf Surgical Hospital purchased a Mako robot in 2016, which is used for both hip and partial knee replacements. All of the arthroplasty surgeons at Chippewa Valley Orthopedics have been certified in its use. As of the time this article was written, we have completed over 100 replacements using the Mako robot. Our patients have done well, with the vast majority of them going home the day after surgery. We recently began the Fast Track Recovery Program in which a select group of patients are discharged home the same day as their surgery. The use of the Mako robot during joint replacement is an integral part of our fast track recovery program now being implemented in our younger, healthier patients.

Mako robotic assisted hip replacement is a sophisticated, technological advancement that allows for improved accuracy of component positioning, reduced risk of hip dislocation, more consistency in correcting leg lengths, and improved longevity of the hip replacement. Partial knee replacements have similar benefits. OakLeaf Surgical Hospital continues to lead the region in orthopedic innovation by providing patients who are undergoing hip and partial knee replacements the opportunity to have their surgeries performed using the Mako robot to help improve the results of their operation.


Dr. Stewart – Chippewa Valley Orthopedics & Sports Medicine
For information or to schedule an appointment:
715-832-1400 |
Dr. Stewart sees patients in Altoona, Chippewa Falls, Ladysmith and Rice Lake.