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Atlantic Health System’s Morristown Medical Center Now Offering Stryker's Mako SmartRobotics™ for Partial Knee, Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement Procedures

September 3, 2020

Innovative Technology Allows Surgeons to Personalize Procedures to Each Patient

September 3, 2020, Morristown, New Jersey – Atlantic Health System’s Morristown Medical Center is one of the first hospitals in the region to offer Stryker’s Mako SmartRoboticsTM for partial knee, total hip and total knee replacement procedures. This advancement is transforming the way joint replacement procedures are performed.

Mako SmartRoboticsTM is a new approach to joint replacement that offers the potential for a higher level of patient-specific implant alignment and positioning.1-3 The technology allows surgeons to create a patient-specific 3D plan and perform joint replacement surgery using a surgeon-controlled robotic-arm that helps the surgeon execute the procedure with a high degree of accuracy.4-5

“Mako is changing the way joint replacement surgeries are performed by providing each patient with a personalized surgical experience based on their specific diagnosis and anatomy,” said James Wittig, MD, chairman, Orthopedic Surgery, Morristown Medical Center and medical director, Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Oncology and Sarcoma Surgery, Atlantic Health System.

“We are proud to be able to offer this highly advanced robotic technology for our patients,” said Trish O’Keefe, PhD, RN, President, Morristown Medical Center. “This addition to our nationally recognized orthopedic service line further demonstrates our commitment to providing the community with the latest innovations to deliver extraordinary care producing outstanding results.”

Mako technology was first brought to Atlantic Health in early 2017, when Overlook Medical Center began using the Mako System to perform partial knee replacements using a robotic-arm, a minimally invasive treatment option that is more precise and less invasive than traditional knee surgery.

Using a virtual 3D model, the Mako System allows surgeons to create each patient’s surgical plan before entering the operating room. During surgery, the surgeon can validate that plan and make any necessary adjustments while guiding the robotic-arm to execute it. “It’s exciting to be able to offer this transformative technology across the joint replacement service line to perform total knee, total hip and partial knee replacements,” said Dr. Wittig. “The combination of these three features of the system enables better surgeon accuracy and often smaller incisions and less pain, leading to quicker recovery and better patient satisfaction.”

The Mako Partial Knee application is a treatment option designed to relieve the pain caused by joint degeneration due to osteoarthritis that has not yet progressed to all three compartments of the knee. Following the personalized pre-operative plan, the surgeon guides the robotic-arm during bone preparation to execute the pre-determined surgical plan and to position the implant. By selectively targeting only the part of the knee damaged by osteoarthritis, surgeons can resurface the diseased portion of the knee while helping to spare the healthy bone and ligaments surrounding the knee joint. Studies have shown robotic-arm assisted partial knee replacement to be two to three times more accurate than manual partial knee replacement procedures.5-7

The Mako Total Hip application is a treatment option for adults who suffer from degenerative joint disease of the hip.  During surgery, the surgeon guides the robotic-arm during bone preparation to prepare the hip socket and position the implant according to the pre-determined surgical plan.  In studies, Mako total hip replacement acetabular cup placement has been shown to be four times more accurate and reproducible than manual total hip replacement procedures.1

The Mako Total Knee application is a knee replacement treatment option designed to relieve the pain caused by joint degeneration due to osteoarthritis. Through CT-based 3D modeling of bone anatomy, surgeons can use the Mako System to create a personalized surgical plan and identify the implant size, orientation and alignment based on each patient’s unique anatomy. The Mako System also enables surgeons to virtually modify the surgical plan intra-operatively and assists the surgeon in executing bone resections.

About Morristown Medical Center’s Orthopedic Program

This year, Morristown Medical Center’s orthopedic surgery program has been ranked #28 in the nation by US News and World Report and is the only program in the State of New Jersey to be rated in the top 50. In 2019, over 11,000 orthopedic surgeries were performed at Morristown Medical Center with over 9 different subspecialties including 4,000 hip and knee replacements and over 2,000 spine surgeries. It is one of the few programs in the United States to offer specialization in orthopedic oncology and sarcoma surgery emphasizing limb sparing surgery for musculoskeletal cancers. Morristown Medical Center Orthopedics has received five stars from Healthgrades for hip and knee replacement, hip fracture and spine surgery (fusion and non-fusion). It is one of the highest volume joint replacement programs in the U.S. and is one of four Level 1 verified trauma centers in NJ.

About Atlantic Health System

Atlantic Health System has a long-standing tradition of providing exceptional patient outcomes and experiences. Home to seven award-winning hospitals including Morristown Medical Center, the number one hospital in NJ according to U.S. News & World Report and Newsweek’s World’s Best Hospitals, the system has been ranked first in New Jersey in consumer preference by Monigle and first among health systems in New Jersey as a “best workplace” by both Modern Healthcare and Fortune Magazine. 

Many of the system’s programs have received national accolades and designations, including top rankings for Orthopedics, Gynecology and Cardiology & Heart Surgery, as well as Atlantic Health System’s Cancer Care program, the only New Jersey-based National Cancer Institute National Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP).

Additionally, Atlantic Health System Neuroscience at Overlook Medical Center, working with Atlantic Mobile Health, was the first in the nation to deploy and use portable Telestroke technology in ambulances for routine pre-hospital assessment of stroke patients.

Powered by a passionate workforce of 17,000 team members and 4,800 affiliated physicians dedicated to building healthier communities, Atlantic Health System serves more than half of the state of New Jersey, including 11 counties and 4.9 million people. The system provides care for the full continuum of health needs across a wide array of settings, including Atlantic Medical Group, one of the largest multi-specialty practices in New Jersey with more than 1,000 physicians and providers, 12 urgent care centers, Atlantic Rehabilitation Institute, Atlantic Visiting Nurse and Atlantic Anywhere’s Virtual Visits. Facilitating connections between these services on both land and air is the transportation fleet of Atlantic Mobile Health.

With a clear sense of purpose and an unparalleled culture, Atlantic Health System attracts top leaders in the field of health care, from CEO Brian Gragnolati, who was Chairman of the American Hospital Association in 2019, to the numerous team members who serve as leaders across national clinical associations and research entities.


1. Nawabi, DH, Conditt,MA, Ranawat AS, Dunbar NJ et al. Haptically guided robotic technology in total hip arthroplasty: a cadaveric investigation. Journal of Engineering in Medicine. December 2012:227(3):302-309.

2. Illgen R. Robotic assisted total hip arthroplasty improves accuracy and clinical outcome compared with manual technique. 44th Annual Advances in Arthroplasty Course. October 7-10, 2014, Cambridge, MA.
3. Anthony, Ian, Bell, Stuart W., Blyth, Mark, Jones, Bryn, MacLean, Angus, Rowe, Philip. Improved accuracy of component positioning with robotic-assisted unicompartmental knee arthroplasty. The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. Volume 98-A: Number 8. April 20, 2016. pp 627-35.

4. Jerabek SA, Carroll KM, Maratt JD, Mayman DJ, Padgett DE. Accuracy of Cup Positioning and Achieving Desired Hip Length and Offset Following Robotic THA.; 14th Annual CAOS Meeting, June 18-21, 2014, Milan, Italy.

5. Dunbar NJ, Roche MW, Park BH, Branch SH; et al. Accuracy of Dynamic Tactile-Guided Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty. Journal of Arthroplasty. May 2012.  27(5): 803-808.e1.

6. Lonner, JH. Robotic-Arm Assisted Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty. Seminars in Arthroplasty. 2009. 20(1): 15-22.

7. Lonner JH, John TK, Conditt MA. Robotic Arm-Assisted UKA Improved Tibial Component Alignment: A Pilot Study Clin Orthop Relat Res. July 2010. 468(1):141-6.