MAKO aims to get hip-replacement patients back on feet faster

Recently, FierceMedicalDevices caught up with Maurice Ferré (photo), chairman, president and CEO of MAKO Surgical ($MAKO) at the AdvaMed annual conference. The company, which was founded in 2004, has been helping patients with a procedure known as MAKOplasty partial knee resurfacing. The procedure is designed to provide quicker recovery and improved surgical outcomes for those with osteoarthritic joint degeneration.

For years, doctors shied away from doing partial knee replacements because they were difficult to perform. But MAKO has developed a system for these procedures that allows for smaller incisions, bone and ligament preservation and a more "natural" feeling knee, Ferré explained. The company has seen rapid adoption with more than 10,000 procedures, according to Ferré.

But MAKO isn't limiting itself to knees. Last month, the company announced the commercial availability of the RIO robotic arm interactive orthopedic system for use in total hip replacement procedures (photo). The total hip replacement application is designed to support the surgeon's ability to align and position the implants more accurately, thus minimizing potential complications associated with conventional surgery. MAKOplasty total hip arthroplasty provides for a pre-operative 3-D reconstruction of the hip and is used to develop the patient-specific surgical plan. The robotic-arm assists the surgeon in placing the implants. Ferré sees the procedure as having great growth potential; roughly 10 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from osteoarthritis of the hip. 

Lowering the price of healthcare was a major theme at the AdvaMed conference, and Ferré believes MAKO can help in this regard by delivering efficiencies. The MAKO procedures result in better outcomes for patients--greatly reducing the time needed in rehab and away from the workforce, for example. Plus, the systems help streamline processes in the operating room.

MAKO has not partnered with anyone, but its systems can be found healthcare facilities across the world, particularly in Italy, Scotland and the Pacific Rim. It hopes receive more clearances in other areas in the near future.

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