Frequently Asked Questions for Joint Replacements

What is Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery™?

The Mako system is the next generation of robotic-arm assisted surgery and joint replacement, which is transforming the way knee and hip reconstructions are being performed. The Mako system provides each patient with a personalized surgical experience based on their specific diagnosis and anatomy. The advanced robotic technology allows one of our leading orthopedic knee and hip replacement surgeons at Bingham Memorial’s Orthopedic Institute—to create a patient-specific, 3D plan that uses a CT scan to guide the reconstruction plan, taking into account each patient’s specific anatomy and ligament balance.

What are the advantages of using the Mako system?

Overall, surgeries using the Mako system increase surgical precision, decrease hospitalization times, and speed up recovery times. The Mako system also improves surgical outcomes and quality of life while saving patients both time and money.

The Mako system allows our surgeon to be truly minimally invasive. Using minimally invasive surgical techniques today involves much smaller incisions, causing less muscle injury and soft tissue damage.

Traditional knee surgery typically dictates that a total knee replacement is necessary, even if a partial replacement is really all that’s needed. Because the failure rate on a traditional partial knee replacement is too high, doctors choose to replace the whole knee instead. With the new Mako system, however, precision and accuracy is much higher, which gives doctors the confidence to offer a partial replacement to more patients.

Hip replacements, particularly those that are traditionally done by hand, leave all the skill to the surgeon. With the Mako system, the variability is reduced, thus increasing the accuracy of the placement four times and the accuracy of final leg bone length by six times.

Does the Mako robotic-arm actually perform the surgery?

No, the robotic-arm does not perform surgery, nor can it make decisions on its own or move without the surgeon guiding it. The surgeon guides the Mako robotic-arm within the predefined area, which helps the surgeon stay within the planned boundaries that were defined in the patient-specific pre-operative plan. The Mako robotic-arm is guided to remove diseased bone and cartilage and then inserts the full or partial knee or hip replacement. During surgery, the surgeon can validate that plan and make any necessary adjustments while guiding the robotic-arm to execute the procedure exactly as planned.

Who should get this surgery?

Suffering from persistent knee or hip pain? Total hip, total knee, and partial knee replacements are intended for use in individuals with joint disease resulting from degenerative, rheumatoid, and post-traumatic arthritis. It is also intended for those suffering from moderate deformity of the knee or hip.

Does the hospital charge more for the use of the Mako system, and do health insurance and/or Medicare cover it?

Bingham Memorial Hospital does not charge more for the use of the Mako system. It is billed the same as a standard knee or hip replacement. We preauthorize the Mako surgery with your insurance just like we would a standard hip or knee replacement. Yes, Medicare does cover this procedure. Our Patient Financial Specialist meets with each patient and reviews all of the costs prior to the surgery.

What can I expect following surgery? Will my recovery be faster?

Our team will work closely with you to educate and inform you each step of the way. We have a care process that will help prepare and teach you how to have a successful recovery. After surgery, your surgeon, nurse and physical therapists will set goals with you to get you back on the move. You will be able to start walking the same day as your surgery. Most patients only stay one or two nights in the hospital. Most patients are back to their normal routines in four to six weeks.

Where is the surgery performed?

Surgeries are performed at the following location:

Bingham Memorial Hospital
98 Poplar St.
Blackfoot, Idaho, 83221
p: (208) 785-4100

Do I need a referral?

No, you do not need a referral. You can call us directly to schedule or call Holly Davis, RN, orthopedic coordinator, at (208) 782-3717. Your coordinator is available to help guide you through each step of the process from your first consultation through your recovery.

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