By: Andrew J. Wassef, M.D., medical director, MemorialCare Joint Replacement Center, Long Beach Medical Center

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic pain caused by arthritis affects millions of people in the United States every year. About one in four adults with arthritis — 15 million people — report experiencing severe joint pain related to arthritis. Various forms of arthritis can affect the knee joint by breaking down the protective cartilage and bones in the knee.

If you’re one of the millions of Americans suffering from knee pain and haven’t experienced adequate relief with medication or other conservative treatments, partial or total knee replacement might help.

The MemorialCare Joint Replacement Center at Long Beach Medical Center has state-of-the-art Mako technology to provide pinpoint accuracy for surgeons during knee and hip replacement surgery so only the affected areas are treated. We have found that using this revolutionary technology has led to shorter hospital stays, faster recovery times, and a lower chance of needing to come back for revision surgery.

MakoTM Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery is a cutting-edge orthopedic technology that allows orthopedic surgeons to perform total knee replacements or partial knee replacements. If you haven’t received relief from non-surgical treatments, Mako technology is a minimally invasive treatment option to relieve pain while preserving as much of the natural bone and tissue as possible.

The first step in the process is patient-specific surgical planning. Before surgery, a specialized computed tomography (CT) scan of your knee is taken to develop a 3D virtual model of your unique joint. Your doctor uses this model to evaluate your bone structure, joint alignment and even the surrounding bone and tissue to determine the optimal size, placement and alignment of your implant. The CT scan is the map to providing you with a personalized joint replacement that is planned just for you.

During Mako® Assisted Surgery, your orthopedic surgeon will use a robotic-arm to help prepare the bone with extreme precision, creating less soft tissue damage when compared to conventional methods. Mako technology includes real-time information and images of your knee to ensure the knee implant is properly placed. Unlike other more invasive procedures, Mako can often be performed through smaller less invasive incisions and create less soft tissue disruption.

Mako® Assisted Surgery for total knee replacements can help in restoring your mobility while producing less scarring, reducing blood loss, and decreases hospitalization time – returning you back to your feet sooner.

During surgery, the surgeon guides the Mako robotic-arm based on the patient-specific plan. This allows them to remove the diseased cartilage and bone, preserve healthy bone and soft tissue, and position the implant based on the patient’s anatomy.

Additionally, MemorialCare offers Mako® Partial Knee — an innovative treatment option designed to relieve the pain caused by joint degeneration due to osteoarthritis. By selectively targeting the part of the knee damaged by osteoarthritis, the surgeon can resurface only the diseased area in the knee while sparing the healthy bone and ligaments surrounding it. This is an ideal treatment for athletes and those who don’t have progressive osteoarthritis affecting the entire joint.

The MemorialCare Joint Replacement Center at Long Beach Medical Center is a leader in Southern California for hip, shoulder and knee replacements. The care team uses a revolutionary philosophy that encourages patients to become active as soon as possible – usually on the same day of surgery. Ninety-five percent of patients at the Joint Replacement Center can be discharged home instead of requiring a skilled nursing facility. Also, most of our patients walk as much as 300 feet after surgery giving them confidence to return home.

Learn more about joint replacement surgery options at Long Beach Medical Center, including Mako Total Knee, at