News Feature | March 16, 2017

Stryker, S&N Unveil Robotic-Assisted Total Knee Systems At AAOS

By Jof Enriquez
Follow me on Twitter @jofenriq

Mako Surgical RIO Robot

Stryker and Smith & Nephew unveiled total knee applications for their respective robotic-assisted reconstructive surgery platforms this week at the 2017 Annual American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) meeting in San Diego, Calif.

Following a limited release in June 2016, Stryker announced the commercial launch of its robotic-arm assisted total knee arthroplasty application for use with its Mako System, with its Triathlon Total Knee System (GetAroundKnee) designed to replace the knee's naturally circular motion. The company received FDA clearance for the Mako total knee application in August 2015, which becomes the first and only robotic technology that can be used across the joint replacement service line to perform total knee, total hip, and partial knee replacements.

"We are excited to be leading the transformation of the orthopaedics industry with the commercial launch of the Mako Total Knee application," said Bill Huffnagle, president of Stryker's Joint Replacement Division, in a news release. "We believe that pairing our Mako robotic-arm technology with our market leading implant systems will enable surgeons to have an improved surgical experience."

Stryker says more than 1,400 Mako Total Knee replacements have been performed, and 350 Mako Systems have been installed in U.S. facilities to date. Overall, more than 83,000 Mako robotic-arm assisted procedures, including total knee, partial knee, and total hip replacements, have been performed through 2016, according to the company. The potential market is vast – Stryker claims total knee replacement procedures alone will grow 673 percent by 2030, many of them utilizing robots.

Also at the AAOS meeting, Smith & Nephew (S&N) launched its NAVIO hand-held robotics-assisted total knee arthroplasty system. S&N acquired the NAVIO robot with its purchase of Blue Belt Technologies in January 2016. NAVIO features a unique hand-held, robotic bone-shaping device, and a CT-less planning software for precise implant alignment and ligament balance at the time of unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA) procedures, without the need for a pre-operative CT scan.

"I have experience with several robotic systems and my experience with the NAVIO Surgical System has been phenomenal," stated Jimmy Chow, M.D,  Director of Orthopaedics: Hip & Joint, Phoenix St. Luke's Medical Center. "Both NAVIO UKA and TKA applications allow me freedom as a surgeon, unlike other robotic options, because it is imageless. I can easily plan and correct for significant deformities and retained hardware with confidence. I love the direct interface with the system itself, putting me back in control."  

NAVIO delivered growth in excess of 50 percent for S&N in its latest reported quarter and, with the addition of the total knee application, will help drive S&N toward revenue targets in 2017. CEO Olivier Jean Bohuon told investors in February that "the Total Knee business obviously opens us a much bigger market than the Uni Knee."

S&N will fully release NAVIO commercially in the second quarter of 2017, 510(k) pending, with the company’s JOURNEY II kinematic knee system, and LEGION and GENESIS II Total Knee Systems.