MAKOplasty® partial knee resurfacing

MAKOplasty partial knee resurfacing is a robotic arm-assisted procedure designed to relieve the pain of osteoarthritis in the knee. This minimally invasive technique targets only the diseased portion of the knee, while sparing healthy bone, tissue and ligaments.

MAKOplasty is a good option for carefully selected patients suffering from unicompartmental or bicompartmental knee disease. Because it is less invasive, it offers a host of benefits including very small incisions, less pain, a shorter hospital stay and a faster recovery.

Prior to surgery, a CT scan is taken of the knee. The system creates a 3-D anatomical model that helps the surgeon plan the placement and alignment of the implant. Once surgery is underway, the surgeon uses a robotic arm to facilitate optimal implant positioning. The patient-specific plan and technology allow for more accurate placement and a more natural feeling knee. Because healthy bone is preserved, patients who undergo MAKOplasty may still be candidates for total knee replacement later on.


The knee is the largest joint in the body and one of the most complex. It is made up of the femur, tibia and patella. Articular cartilage covers the ends of the bones and allows them to glide smoothly over one another. Osteoarthritis causes the surface layer of cartilage to gradually wear away. Without this cushioning effect, the bones of the knee joint rub together. The knee can’t move easily and becomes stiff, swollen and painful.

When is surgery recommended?

MAKOplasty is recommended for carefully selected patients with unicompartmental or bicompartmental knee osteoarthritis who have failed to respond to conservative treatments including weight loss, anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections and physical therapy. The procedure is not for everyone and it’s essential that each patient is properly screened by an orthopedic surgeon trained in knee replacement techniques to determine the most appropriate course of action.

What is the recovery time?

Patients typically walk soon after surgery and return to normal activities within weeks. Physical therapy is recommended to improve strength, flexibility and range of motion. Otherwise, there are very few restrictions, although OrthoVirginia surgeons encourage lower-impact exercises such as walking, biking, swimming or using an elliptical trainer, rather than high-impact sports such as running. Patients are reminded that continuous high-impact activities can lead to premature wear and premature failure of the implant.

Surgeons who perform Makoplasties

Find a specialist in your location.