Penn Highlands Healthcare Is Among the First to Use New Software for Knee Replacement Surgery

Penn Highlands Healthcare is one of the first health systems in the U.S. to use the new second generation Mako SmartRobotic software to assist with partial and total knee replacement surgeries. The new software is enabling the health system to help people recover faster and have more successful outcomes.

“The company carefully selected the facilities that would be afforded the limited, early release of the new software and Penn Highlands was chosen largely due to the volume of knee replacement surgeries we perform and the skillset of our team,” explained Matthew Varacallo, MD, Director of Orthopedic Robotic Surgery and a board-certified orthopedic surgeon at Penn Highlands Healthcare. “This allows Penn Highlands to be considered a robotics teaching and training facility.”

According to Dr. Varacallo, the new software is providing better and faster outcomes for patients because it provides surgeons with greater accuracy, precision, and efficiency.

“The software optimizes the position of the robotics during surgery to provide the surgeon with greater control and flexibility,” explained Dr. Varacallo.

Another feature of the new robotic software is that it includes an extra database which saves critical information allowing surgeons to analyze data more efficiently and then more accurately picture how the alignment will position.

“The data enhances the workflow because it provides the surgeon with a visual representation of the starting deformity and how the correction will be positioned,” said Dr. Varacallo.

Ultimately, because the surgery is more efficient, patients require less anesthesia. It also reduces tourniquet time which means less muscle pain.

“At Penn Highlands, we are very grateful to be considered one of the top facilities for Mako robotic surgery, which allowed our health system to begin using the software upgrade sooner than other hospitals and health systems,” said Dr. Varacallo. “They made an excellent project even better and that is great for our patients!”