HSJ Awards Logo
Accessable Accessibility Information

News and Events

Pioneering robotic-arm assisted surgery at The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital


The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham has today announced it is to further build upon its reputation as a pioneering centre of world-class surgical excellence by introducing robotic-arm assisted surgery for the first time.

The hospital, home to one of the largest and most respected specialist orthopaedic surgery units in Europe, has confirmed it has invested in new robotic-arm assisted hip replacement technology.

The advanced Stryker Mako robotic-arm assisted surgery transforms the way joint replacement surgery is performed, enabling the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital’s team of highly-trained surgeons to operate with even more accuracy.

The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital will introduce the revolutionary surgery in its newly launched Woodlands Suite.

How robotic-arm assisted surgery works

Professor Edward Davis, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, said: “The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital has been pioneering care in the field of orthopaedics since its inception and this investment in leading-edge technology represents another exciting chapter in that story.

“With this technology we can provide each patient with a personalised surgical experience based on their specific diagnosis and anatomy.

“Using a virtual 3D model, Mako allows surgeons to create each patient’s surgical plan pre-operatively. During surgery, we can validate that plan and make any necessary adjustments while guiding the robotic-arm to execute that plan.

“It’s exciting to be able to offer this transformative technology to in our newly created Woodlands Suite offering state-of-the-art care to patients at every step of their journey through the process from planning to post-operative recuperation and care.”

Hip replacements in the UK

Osteoarthritis was the main diagnosis for primary hip replacement and almost exclusively the diagnosis for primary knee replacement during the 2016 calendar year, in 90 per cent and 99 per cent of cases respectively.

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 medical studies, Mako total hip replacement has been shown to be four times more accurate and reproducible than manual total hip replacement procedures.

One of the first people to undergo the procedure at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital is Margaret Parkes, who is in her 70s and lives in Halesowen. She said: ‘I’m so pleased with how my hip replacement went. It’s only been 24 hours since the procedure and I’ve already walked and even been up and down the stairs. I can’t believe how little pain there is.

“Professor Davis and the whole theatre team were a great support and allayed any fears I had beforehand. The Mako robotic arm technology the surgeons use is truly fascinating. I would totally recommend this surgery to anyone.”

Professor Davis said: “We are proud to be the first NHS hospital to offer this highly advanced robotic technology in the UK.

“The addition of Mako to our orthopaedic service line further demonstrates our commitment to provide the community of Birmingham, the West Midlands and beyond with outstanding healthcare.”

How you can find out more

 At present, robotic-arm assisted surgery is being offered to private patients but will in time become available to NHS patients. If you’d like to find out more about whether robotic-arm assisted surgery is right for you, please visit www.woodlandssuite.com