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NMCSD Utilizes Stryker MAKO System During Total Knee Arthroplasty

25 July 2023

From Petty Officer 3rd Class Raphael McCorey

SAN DIEGO - Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) continues to lead in medical technology being the first Navy Medical Treatment Facility to conduct a total knee arthroplasty (TKA) utilizing the Mako Robotics system, April 26.

The Stryker Mako system is a state of the art robotic arm that uses haptic technology, or commonly referred to as 3D touch, to achieve high precision arthroplasty -- or knee replacement.

“Total knee replacement is a very precise and reproducible operation,” said Cmdr. Brian Barlow, Orthopedic Surgeon assigned to NMCSD. “Traditionally, we would use X-Rays to plan our surgeries, take measurements we’re making in the surgery, and place all knee replacements in the same orientation. The Stryker MAKO robot transforms a CT scan of the joint into a digital model, measures soft tissue balance, allowing the surgeon to register a 3D model of the patient’s anatomy."

Utilizing this procedure gives surgeons the opportunity to provide patients with personalized and optimal functional utility once the procedure is finished.

"We are recognizing that different people have different knee phenotypes,” said Barlow. “Similar to the fact that not every one’s face is the same, not every knee is the same either. We want to use the robotic technologies to start adjusting the way we place the implants according to that patient's anatomy, the goal is to match patients’ phenotype to improve their outcomes. There may be a benefit in matching the patient’s knee phenotype when performing the knee replacement, but requires an enhancing technology.”

NMCSD's mission is to prepare service members to deploy in support of operational forces, deliver high quality healthcare services and shape the future of military medicine through education, training and research. NMCSD employs more than 6,000 active duty military personnel, civilians and contractors in Southern California to provide patients with world-class care anytime, anywhere. (U.S. Navy story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Raphael McCorey)


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