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South County Hospital gains Mako robotic arm-assisted technology

Published 09/07/2016

South County Hospital in Wakefield, RI, a leader in orthopedic surgery for hip replacement and knee repair, recently became the first hospital in the world to offer the Mako robotic arm-assisted technology for total knee procedures.

The FDA approval was recently announced after Dr. Robert Marchand completed 35 Mako robotic arm-assisted total knee replacement (TKR) clinical trial surgeries at South County Hospital in Wakefield.

The success of the clinical trials led to the launch of the first commercial release of the procedure anywhere in the world.  Since its approval, Dr. Marchand has performed another 10 total knee resurfacing procedures, sparking interest from others seeking relief from knee pain.

The Mako robotic arm-assisted technology was a breakthrough for partial knee resurfacing when Dr. Marchand and his colleagues at South County Orthopedics first began using it five and a half years ago.  Approximately 5,000 successful partial knee resurfacing procedures have been completed at South County Hospital to date.

Three years ago the same technology was approved for total hip replacement after robust clinical studies at Massachusetts General Hospital and other leading medical centers showed that total hip replacements performed with the Mako robotic-assisted system yielded significantly superior outcomes compared to the manual approach.

According to Dr. Marchand, the Mako technology allows for consistent pin-point accuracy in bone preparation, implant placement, and balancing of ligaments. It is also conducive to quicker recoveries for patients.

“Using this technology for a partial knee procedure, they’re (patients) up and walking the same day and home the next. With a total knee, they’re up and walking the next day and home within two days,” he said.

While the system’s name refers to the robotic arm that guides surgeons, the Mako system consists of sophisticated hardware and an advanced software system that programs the robotics.  

A pre-operative CT scan of the patient’s knee, along with information collected from arrays that are placed on the patient in the operating room, creates a 3-D image of the joint. This information and the surgeon’s surgical plan becomes the map that guides the cutting and burring of bone and the positioning of the implants.

Community lecture
Dr. Marchand will give a presentation on the Mako robotic-assisted technology for total knee resurfacing at a free public lecture on Wednesday, September 28, at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick at 6:30 p.m.  Those interested in attending are asked to reserve a seat online or by calling 401-788-1689. More >

Blue Distinction
Given the proven success in hip and knee surgeries at South County Hospital, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, a worldwide leader in providing healthcare insurance recognized South County Hospital as a Blue Distinction Centers+ (BDC+) hospital for hip and knee replacement.

Blue Distinction Centers+ are hospitals recognized for their expertise and efficiency in delivering specialty care. 

The designation was awarded based on a thorough, objective evaluation of performance in the areas that matter the most—quality care, treatment expertise and overall patient results. The criteria are established with the help of expert physicians and medical organizations.

According to Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Distinction Centers+ have a proven history of delivering better quality and results than healthcare facilities without these recognitions.