Department of Biological Sciences Demonstrates MAKO Technology

The Youngstown State University Department of Biological Sciences partnered with Stryker Orthopaedics to demonstrate and certify two physicians on the use of Stryker’s MAKO Surgical Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopaedic technology.

Stryker used the Biology anatomy lab on Oct. 23 to demonstrate this technology by having the two surgeons perform hip joint replacement surgeries on a cadaver. Students were welcome to watch the demonstration and ask questions.

Dr. Raymond Duffet,  an orthopaedic surgeon and team physician for YSU Athletics, who was certified in the use of the new technology at the demonstration, said the MAKO technology uses set points to outline the margins and depth of the acetabulum, which is the “cup” on the hipbone that forms the socket portion of the ball-and-socket hip joint..

“In other words, we almost take a 3D picture of the cup … all around it, and then depth because we don’t want to go too deep,” Duffet said. “After that, then the computer tells the reamer how to ream it to achieve that perfect result, [which results in a] perfect, accurate match.”

The reamer is a half-ball shaped grinder head at the end of a drill that is used to grind the acetabulum into the shape needed to fit the prosthetic joint. During the surgery, the head of the femur bone is cut off, hammering the femoral part of the prosthesis into the cut end of the femur, and attaching the ball to the femoral prosthesis. The hip joint is then put back together.

Duffet said that in the United States between 400,000 and 500,000 total hip joint replacement surgeries are performed every year. With technology like MAKO, hip replacements will be able to be fitted more perfectly, decreasing the likelihood of having to get additional hip replacements down the road.

Dr. David Weimer was also certified to use MAKO during the Oct. 23 demonstration. He said that the technology allows for accurate information in real time, which leads to consistency from case to case.

“Everyone’s anatomy is a little different,” he said. “This helps you match their anatomy.”

Weimer also said that he thinks the technology will catch on.

“I think this is going to continue to grow in popularity,” Weimer said. “I think more and more cases will be done with robotic assistance. Originally this started with prostate surgery and now it’s application has expanded into orthopaedics. I think more and more surgeons will come on board with this type of technology.”

MAKO technology has already been used to perform nine hip replacements at Northside Hospital.