Surgical complications that occur during or after a makoplasty include infection, ligament damage, blood clots and wound damage, cautions Dr. Andrew D. Pearle, MD. General medical complications, such as blood loss, allergic reactions to medications and nerve damage, can also happen during the surgery.
After the knee heals completely, complications can still occur, according to Pearle. The knee implant typically lasts 10 to 15 years, but sometimes it wears out within two years. The implant may also sink into the surrounding knee bone within a couple of years. If these problems cause pain, a total knee replacement is the recommended treatment.
The pieces of surgical cement used to secure the implant may fracture and travel within the knee, notes Pearle. If these fragments damage the knee or cause pain, the patient may require additional surgery.
After surgery, the knee cap may not function properly with the implant, according to Pearle. It may not correctly move with the knee, negatively affect the new implant or become dislocated. The makoplasty may also make the knee joint stiff and only allow limited range of motion. However, doctors can bend the knee while the patient is under anesthesia to encourage normal movement.
Patients may also notice that their knee looks different, notes Pearle. The makoplasty also makes the surrounding leg slightly longer. These changes are inevitable because the makoplasty makes the knee straighter.