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Mako® Robotic Joint Replacement Surgery

As the first hospital in Bath to offer MAKO robotic technology, Sulis Hospital has transformed the way hip and knee surgeries are performed.

The addition of the latest technology has been described as the "gold standard" of hip and knee joint replacement and has secured the hospital’s position as a centre of excellence for joint replacement surgery.

With the use of Stryker Mako robotic-arm assisted surgery, Sulis Hospital is adopting a new and innovative approach to joint replacements that offers a higher level of alignment and positioning during surgery, resulting in a faster recovery and reduced post-operative pain.

By using this latest advancement in surgical technology, patients can get back to their active lifestyle quicker, whether it be walking the dog or returning to the golf course.

Benefits of having your knee or hip replacement surgery using the Mako Robotic-assisted technology:

  • Greatly reduces a patient's pain after surgery1
  • Produces faster recovery in early knee movement2
  • Accuracy of joint replacements is improved by 2–3 times3

At Sulis Hospital we have performed over 500 robotic-arm assisted knee and hip joint replacements for patients within our region.

Sulis Theatre
Pioneering hip and knee surgery leads to improved recovery times for patients

Orthopaedic consultant and hip specialist, Matthew Burwell, explains "Over the past two decades, patient expectations have changed dramatically, with patients wanting more than just pain relief from a joint replacement. Quite rightly, patients want to be able to enjoy life as they did when they were younger with no restrictions. It places the responsibility on us as experienced surgeons to replicate the natural joint using robotic-assisted surgery."

Click on the short video below to discover more.

What are the benefits of robotic-assisted joint replacements?

Orthopaedic surgeons use robotic-assisted surgery to enable a more predictable surgical experience and offer a leading advantage in today's healthcare environment.

Traditional surgery vs Mako Robotic-assisted surgery

Mako SmartRobotics™ for joint replacement has been associated with less pain, less need for inpatient physical therapy, reduction in length of hospital stay, improved knee flexion and soft tissue protection in comparison to manual techniques.

Traditional surgery involves the surgeon using burr saw to remove bone. The surgeon uses their years of experience to examine and judge the accuracy of surgery by eye. Mako systems enable the surgeon to look at the anatomy of the bone and track healthy and diseased bone. This assistance prevents the removal of healthy bone tissue and improves accuracy.

The robotic arm is equipped with a saw and the surgeon can remove bone within the planned surgical area, which is outlined within the pre-surgical planning stages. If the surgeon attempts to move outside of the predefined area, the saw will switch off.


Robotic-arm assisted surgery enables surgeons to have a more predictable surgical experience and offers them a leadership advantage in our evolving healthcare environment. The fundamentals of joint replacement surgery remains the same.

CT scans prior to the operation are combined with the Mako SmartRobotics systems, which creates 3D modeling of the joint and bone anatomy. The surgeon uses this technology to create a personalised surgical plan and identify the desired implant size, orientation and alignment based on each patient’s unique anatomy.

Within the operating theatre the surgeon will use the the Mako robotic arm, which supports guiding the consultant within a pre-defined surgical area. The robotic arm uses real-time feedback, preventing the surgeon from moving outside the planned surgical areas. The guidance of the robotic-arm ensures a high degree of precision and accuracy in placing implants.

The surgeon is in control of equipment and surgery at all times and will be guiding the robotic-arm in order to position the implant into place. The robotic technology does not utilise artificial intelligence, and does not move independently without the surgeon's control. The method and technology is there to assist our highly qualified surgeons.

Knee Surgery Icon

Knee Replacement Surgery (Robotic-assisted)

At Sulis Hospital our orthopaedic consultant knee specialists use the advance Mako robotic arm system to assist with both total knee replacement and partial knee replacement surgery.

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Hip Surgery Icon

Hip Replacement Surgery (Robotic-assisted)

Through CT-based 3D modeling of bone anatomy, surgeons can use the Mako System to create a personalised surgical plan for hip replacement surgery.

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Mako procedures have been carried out for over 10 years, with the first knee replacements being carried out in 2006, and the first hip replacement carried out in 2010. Both procedures were conducted in Florida USA. There are 300+ Mako systems assisting with surgery worldwide spanning 19 countries.

Over 70,000 robotic-arm assisted hip and knee procedures have been carried out so far and over 700 surgeons worldwide regularly perform Mako procedures.

  1. Accuracy of UKA Implant Positioning and Early Clinical Outcomes in a RCT Comparing Robotic Assisted and Manual Surgery. Blyth MJ; Jones B; MacLean A; Anthony I; Rowe P; 13th Annual CAOS Meeting, June 12-15, 2013, Orlando, FL, USA
  2. Kayani, Konan, Tahmessabi, Pietrzak, Haddad. Bone Joint J 2018;100-B:930–7. 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
  3. Bell SW, Anthony I, Jones B, MacLean A, Rowe P, Blyth M. Improved Accuracy of Component Positioning with Robotic-Assisted Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2016 Apr 20;98(8):627-35

Sulis Hospital Bath does not favour one medical product or device over another. We also advise that the robotic arm-assisted surgery may not be suitable for all patients. Please discuss with your consultant, which care pathway and surgical treatment is best for your condition.

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