Robotic Knee Replacement Surgery in Scottsdale

Have you tried several other methods to ease your knee pain, without success? If so, then it may be time to consider surgery — and that means looking for a knee replacement doctor. 

If you’re a candidate for robotic knee replacement surgery, you can take comfort in knowing that the MAKOplasty technology Dr. Martin uses is less invasive than traditional knee surgery methods. This offers distinct advantages, as you’ll see below. 

dr martin examining xrays
Minimally Invasive
Quicker Recovery
Older woman treating hip pain with yoga pose.
Proven Results

How Do You Know if You Need Knee Replacement Surgery?

A consultation with a knee replacement doctor will confirm whether a knee replacement is necessary, but there are several signs that suggest you may need to at least think about this as a treatment option.

You have osteoarthritis pain

Osteoarthritis is the result of wear and tear on the knee joint, so it typically (but not always) occurs in people who are in their late forties or older. Rheumatoid arthritis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disease that can develop at any age. It causes the immune system to attack the joints. You might not know for sure which one is causing your pain, but your doctor can tell you. 

Nonsurgical treatments aren’t working

You may already have tried other ways to relieve your knee pain, such as cortisone or hyaluronic acid injections, or working with a physical therapist to strengthen your leg muscles. Some of those may have helped, at least at first. But if your pain has returned or persisted, then it is probably time to try a different course of action.

Daily activities have become difficult

When knee pain interferes with your ability to perform basic movements, like walking up the stairs or getting into and out of a low chair, this is a good indication that knee replacement surgery might be warranted. Think how great it would be to resume the activities you’ve been avoiding because they’re just too painful.

Your knee is swollen or deformed

In the later stages of osteoarthritis, you can tell a “bad” knee just by looking at it. It may be swollen, but it may also look smaller than your other knee. This is because the spaces in the joint have become diminished and the muscles around the knee are thinner.

Surgical Options for Robotic Knee Replacement

After a thorough physical evaluation and the necessary diagnostic tests, your knee replacement doctor can advise you regarding which type of surgery is most appropriate. 

Dr. Martin offers three types of knee surgery in his office in Scottsdale:

  • Knee revision surgery – If you’ve already had a total knee replacement, you might need what’s referred to as knee revision surgery. It’s possible that there was a problem with the original surgery — for example, the implant may be the wrong size, or it may not have been inserted properly. It’s also possible that some normal wear of the parts has occurred over time, and some or all of them may need to be replaced. If there has been significant bone loss or tissue damage, Dr. Martin will address that as well.
  • Partial knee replacement – If you have mild to moderate arthritis in your knee, or only one or two compartments of your knee (out of three total) have been compromised, then you might be a candidate for partial knee replacement surgery. Imaging will reveal precisely what is going on with your knee. Why should you have a total knee replacement if resurfacing and replacing only the affected parts will take care of the problem?
  • Total knee replacement – If a CT scan shows that you have late-stage osteoarthritis, or if osteoarthritis or some other degenerative condition has damaged all three compartments of your knee, then you might need total knee replacement surgery. If so, Dr. Martin will use the MAKO technology to create a personalized 3D model of your knee and plan your knee replacement.

Dr. Martin uses MAKOplasty technology to perform all three types of robotic knee replacement surgeries. Using the robotic-assisted arms, he can access the knee joint through minimal incisions. As a result, recovery times are usually significantly shorter than with traditional knee replacement surgery.

dr martin examining a knee fracture from xray
dr martin examining a knee fracture from xray

MAKO Technology = A Quicker Recovery

With the traditional type of knee replacement, the surgeon has to make an incision that is 8 to 10 inches long to access the knee joint. That involves significant disruption to the soft tissue surrounding the joint. There’s more blood loss and more post-operative pain than with a robotic knee replacement, and the recovery time is typically around eight to 10 weeks.  

With the MAKOplasty robotics system that Dr. Martin uses, the incision is usually 4 to 6 inches. There’s less blood loss, less bone damage, less soft tissue disruption (with no need to cut the quadriceps muscles) and less pain after the procedure. Many patients are able to go home the same day they have surgery, using a walker for balance if necessary. 

Whether you are a good candidate for a robotic knee replacement depends on factors such as your unique body structure, how much deformity there is to your knee, if you’ve had previous surgeries and if you have other health conditions that might affect how rapidly you heal.

Likewise, your recovery time following a robotic knee replacement will depend on personal factors, including your overall health status and whether you will need physical therapy. 

In almost all cases, the recovery period is considerably shorter with the minimally invasive surgery that MAKO technology makes possible.

Your Anticipated Recovery Timeline

As noted above, you can expect to experience substantially less pain after robotic arm-assisted knee replacement surgery than you would have with traditional knee replacement surgery because it’s far less invasive. The accuracy of the robotic system also helps to make your new knee joint feel more natural.

Compared with the older type of knee surgery, wIth a robotic knee replacement you are likely to be able to:

Start walking much sooner — usually the same day as your surgery
Resume your usual daily activities sooner
Shower/bathe three days after surgery, as long as your dressings have been removed (There’s no need to remove stitches or staples.)
Resume driving within a week or two, depending on which knee has been replaced
Return to work within one to six weeks, depending on what type of job you have

You will be assessed one week and two weeks following surgery to see how well your recovery is going.

If you are looking for a knee replacement doctor, bear in mind that Dr. Martin is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and a nationally recognized expert in robotic-assisted joint replacement. He has trained surgeons nationally and internationally in the use of MAKOplasty robotic-assisted procedures. His Scottsdale practice offers rapid recovery programs to help you get back to the lifestyle you enjoyed before knee pain got in the way.