Publish date: 19 December 2022


The UCLH trauma and orthopaedics team has reached a milestone of 1000 operations on hips and knees using the Mako robot.

Two clinical robots were installed in the Grafton Way Building when it opened in April 2021, and this has enabled the team to conduct 600 total knee replacements, 234 total hip replacements and 166 partial knee replacements.

The Mako robot was originally introduced at UCLH in 2017 to enable research into the use of robotic arms in hip and knee joint replacement surgery, but its use is now more widespread with the addition of two robots for clinical use.

The technology allows three-dimensional planning of joint replacement with very precise and accurate execution using computerised robotic arm assistance. This decreases soft tissue and bone damage during surgery and appears to decrease pain and promote rapid recovery and good functional outcomes. 

Alongside the clinical practice, the team has carried out a number of studies that have shown less soft tissue damage during knee arthroplasty using robotic arm assistance, and randomised studies that have shown a much lower inflammatory response. 

“We have also seen less pain and quicker recovery, and a decreased length of stay and better functional outcomes. Our experience thus far suggests that we are seeing few complications, and that patients are recovering more quickly and often to a higher level,” says Professor Fares Haddad, consultant orthopaedic surgeon and divisional clinical director of surgery at UCLH.

“Our experience with Mako robotic arm assisted surgery for partial and total knee replacement and hip replacement has been transformative. We are truly excited to have three consoles within the Grafton Way building allowing us to offer this innovation to a larger number of patients. It also gives us the opportunity to educate and train the next generation of surgeons in this very exciting field.”

The investment in the robotics programme was made possible by UCLH Charity. Philip Brading, CEO of UCLH Charity said, “The trustees received proposals to invest in UCLH’s robotic expansion programme during the height of Covid-19 pandemic.

“We recognised the importance of this programme which will provide better patient care in a safer environment. It will also reduce recovery time and have an important role for research and innovation within the hospital.

“The trustees were very pleased to be able to approve this significant one-off grant promptly enabling rapid progress. We are sure the robots will significantly improve patient care.”