One of the UK’s most experienced users of the Mako® robotic arm invites you to an Open Evening at Woodlands Hospital, Darlington, to see the latest techniques in hip and knee replacement surgery.

The event will be held on September 18, from 6pm to 8pm, and the first surgeon in the Teesside and North Yorkshire area to use the system, Mr James Webb, will be demonstrating the robot and explaining why using this system for replacement surgery offers such improved results over traditional surgery.

The Woodlands Hospital has been using the robot since July 2019, and Mr Webb has carried out more than 500 robot-assisted operations. His experience has led to him being part of the teaching faculty that trains other surgeons in the use of the Mako®.

He says: “I do about 850 hip and knee replacements a year, and if I look at my robot-assisted joints compared to my standard joints, I am seeing a quicker recovery and reduced pain levels after the operation compared to a standard operation.

“It’s a great coup for the hospital to have this machine, and for the local population to have the choice of having hip and knee replacements using this technique.

“It’s a very precise and accurate way of replacing hip and knee joints, which enables us to restore each person’s anatomy to less than a millimeter of exactly where it should be fitting.

The Northern Echo:

“The process begins with the robot creating a very detailed 3D CT scan of the patient’s hip or knee, and from that I can build up a very individualised plan of where exactly the hip or knee replacement should sit, how it should be lined up, the orientation and so on.

“I’m still in control during the operation, but I use the robot arm to help line everything up precisely, to help to reproduce that individualised, bespoke plan that we’ve prepared beforehand.

“People coming to the open day will be able to see the whole process in action, including a live demonstration using a plastic model. They will even be able to have a go with the robot to get an idea of how it works.”

The £1m Mako® robotic arm is an American system that has been around for about 16 years, with 1 million people worldwide having had the robotic replacement procedure. It has been used extensively in Europe, America, and Australia, with studies showing that the chances of having to have a knee replacement re-done are about half that compared to a standard operation using the same implants.

There are additional post-operative benefits including:

  • Quicker recovery
  • Less time in hospital before discharge
  • Fewer pain killers needed
  • Less bleeding and swelling in the legs
  • Reduced complication rate with less chance of dislocation, or different leg lengths after the operation

The Northern Echo:

“This is very exciting technology that offers increased positive long-term, life-enhancing benefits for patients who have been restricted by their condition,” says Mr Webb. “As it becomes more well known, I’m seeing patients from all over the UK who are prepared to travel to see me for the procedure.

“Waiting times here are not as long as some other areas of the UK, and we have both the expertise and the best equipment on the market to give people back a better quality of life.”

Mr Webb trained and worked in the North-East, before spending some time in Perth, Australia, where he first saw the new technique in hip and knee replacement. He has been an orthopaedic consultant for 12 years, and trains other surgeons how to use the Mako® robotic arm.

“My patients want their active lives back, particularly to get back into sports of all sorts,” he explains. “I’ve even had a patient who has gone on to climb Everest after a successful operation.

“In my experience, the Mako® robot helps them to get back to that level of function, and looking forward to enjoying life again.”

If you would like to attend the event on Monday, September 18, from 6pm - 8pm, please head to: to register your place; or call Daisy Holden on 01325 341 786, or Melissa Atkinson on 01325 341 784.

Further information can be found at:

Woodlands Hospital, Morton Park, Darlington DL1 4PL