Partial Knee Replacement w/ MAKO Robotic Surgery

Robotic Partial Knee Replacement

Knees do not wear out evenly. Sometimes one part of the knee is perfectly healthy while another part is irreversibly damaged. So why replace what isn't broken?

Partial Knee Replacement at the Robotic Joint Center

Often, we find that patients have been told they need a total knee replacement when they could in fact benefit from a less invasive procedure. Today, with robotic assistance, we can perform partial knee replacements that resurface each compartment of the knee independently (as unicompartmental or unicondylar replacement) or in combination (as a bi-compartmental knee replacement). Unlike a total knee replacement that replaces the entire knee joint, and may unnecessarily remove healthy parts of your knee, a partial knee replacement preserves your healthy tissue and replaces only the damaged areas.

Partial Knee Replacement OA Treatment Examples

Benefits to Partial Knee Replacement at the Robotic Joint Center

To achieve the accuracy required to successfully treat patients with a partial knee replacement, Dr. Stone uses the Stryker MAKO Robotic-Arm Assisted Orthopaedic System. In an outpatient procedure, the MAKO robotic arm—programmed to follow a computerized 3-D model of the patient’s knee—is guided by Dr. Stone to remove only the damaged tissue from the joint and place the partial implant with exquisite precision. This minimally invasive technique preserves all the patient’s ligaments and produces a strong, natural-feeling knee that provides rapid pain relief and a return to an active lifestyle. Below are some of the benefits of a robotic-assisted partial knee replacement:

Unique Partial Knee Replacement benefits:

  • All 4 stabilizing ligaments remain intact (ACL, PCL, MCL, LCL)
  • Non-arthritic articular cartilage left intact 
  • A unicompartmental replacement may be expanded into a bi-compartmental or total knee replacement later in life

All robotic surgery at The Stone Clinic: 

  • Extremely high accuracy of anatomical placement2
  • A more natural knee motion
  • Quick recovery3,4
  • No muscles are cut, less tissue/bone removal
  • Personalized surgical plan
  • Small incisions, less scarring
  • No staples to remove
  • Less pain5,6,7 & meds
  • Minimal blood loss & extremely low blood clot risk
  • Outpatient procedure with no overnight hospital stay required
Dr. Stone says ...

Dr. stone

"I am biased towards only replacing the parts that are worn out. I prefer to delay a total replacement if I can resurface the medial, lateral, or patellofemoral joint alone or in combination. My patients recover faster, their knees feel more normal, and they can do more sports."

Partial Knee Replacement Patient Stories

Today, we have partial knee replacement patients running ultra-marathons, competing in triathlons, skiing a hundred days a year, all on their partially replaced parts. Hear directly from patients who have benefited from a MAKOPlasty Partial Knee Replacement performed by Dr. Stone. 

Partial Knee Replacement Recovery Timeframe

Below is an estimated timeline for notable recovery milestones after partial knee replacement surgery. All times are to be considered approximate, with each patient's actual progression based upon their clinical presentation. Additionally, these estimates are for patients having their joint replaced by Dr. Stone using the Stryker MAKO Robotic-Arm Assisted Orthopaedic System. Recovery times may be longer with other forms of partial knee replacement. You may see our partial knee replacement rehabilitation protocol in full here

  • Walking - Patients are weight-bearing, as tolerated, immediately after surgery. Patients walk out of the surgery center 1½ hours after surgery and begin their physical therapy the very next day. 
  • Driving - Patients may return to driving, as tolerated, provided they are not under the influence of their post-op prescription pain medications. 
  • Return to Work - Varies based upon the physicality of the patient's work. Patients may return within days to a couple weeks if they have a desk job. For more physically demanding work, patients should seek clearance from their physical therapist and their employer. 
  • Air Travel - Patients are able to return to air travel after having their operative sutures removed (typically 1-2 weeks after surgery). 
  • Cycling/Biking - Well-leg cycling begins on day one after surgery as part of post-op rehab. Most partial knee replacement patients can return to normal cycling within the first few weeks after surgery. 
  • Swimming/Pool Activities - After having their post-operative sutures removed, patients are able to return to swimming within the first few weeks after surgery. 
  • Full Activity / Impact Sports - Patients are typically able to return to full activity between 4-8 months, depending on their strength and commitment to their post-operative rehab program. 

Complimentary Virtual/ Phone Consultation

Patients from across the United States and around the world travel to the Robotic Joint Center at The Stone Clinic in San Francisco to have their knees repaired by Dr. Stone. For those patients who do not live in the Bay Area, we offer a complimentary virtual consultation service. 

To find out if a robotic-assisted partial replacement is right for you, you may schedule a complimentary consultation for Dr. Stone to personally review your injury via a Zoom video conference meeting or a phone call.

Citation References

2  Hozack, W. J. (2018). Multicenter analysis of outcomes after robotic-arm assisted total knee arthroplasty. Orthopaedic Proceedings, 100-B(SUPP_12). https://online.boneandjoint.org.uk/doi/abs/10.1302/1358-992X.2018.12.038

3  Kayani, B., Konan, S., Tahmassebi, J., Pietrzak, J., & Haddad, F. S. (2018). Robotic-arm assisted total knee arthroplasty is associated with improved early functional recovery and reduced time to hospital discharge compared with conventional jig-based total knee arthroplasty: a prospective cohort study. The Bone & Joint Journal, 100-B(7), 930–937. https://doi.org/10.1302/0301-620X.100B7.BJJ-2017-1449.R1

4  Kayani, B., Konan, S., Tahmassebi, J., Rowan, F. E., & Haddad, F. S. (2019). An assessment of early functional rehabilitation and hospital discharge in conventional versus robotic-arm assisted unicompartmental knee arthroplasty: a prospective cohort study. The Bone & Joint Journal, 101-B(1), 24–33. https://doi.org/10.1302/0301-620X.101B1.BJJ-2018-0564.R2)

 Blyth, M., Anthony, I., Rowe, P., Banger, M. S., MacLean, A., & Jones, B. (2017). Robotic arm-assisted versus conventional unicompartmental knee arthroplasty: Exploratory secondary analysis of a randomised controlled trial. Bone & Joint Research, 6(11), 631–639. https://doi.org/10.1302/2046-3758.611.BJR-2017-0060.R1)

6  Bhowmik-Stoker M, Faizan A, Nevelos J, et al. Do total knee arthroplasty surgical instruments influence clinical outcomes? A prospective parallel study of 150 patients. Orthopaedic Research Society annual meeting, February 2-5, 2019. Austin, TX.

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Saving My Knee Guide
Learn about procedures that can help you return to sports & delay or avoid an artificial knee replacement.
Download a Guide to our Knee-Saving Procedures
Explore all your options. Learn about procedures that can help you return to sports & delay or avoid an artificial knee replacement.