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Feeling Weak in the Knees about Knee Replacement Surgery?

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  • Written By: Johnathan Comer

St. Joseph Medical Center’s Robotics-assisted Surgery Gives Phenomenal Results

KANSAS CITY, JUNE 12, 2020 - After traveling to all 50 states and five continents, Vickie Knight, 67, of Olathe, Ks. wasn’t the type to let her knees slow her down now. Although her left knee had become progressively deformed due to removed cartilage in 1971, she kept going. But when degenerative arthritis set into her right knee and deformed it, too, she knew it was time to look at knee replacement options.

“When I tore my cartilage in the ‘70s, the only recourse was to have it removed,” Vickie says. “But during the decades since, not only was the knee bone-on-bone, but bone began grinding away bone. My right knee had also become bone-on-bone due to age and arthritis. Both were deformed and getting worse.”

Although Vickie’s pain level wasn’t severe, she wasn’t going to wait around until it was.

“I became convinced that waiting for pain was no longer the right path for me, so I made an appointment with Dr. Scott Abraham, an orthopedic surgeon at St. Joseph Medical Center in Kansas City. He agreed that the deformity in both knees was severe enough to warrant knee replacement. He asked if I would consider doing both knees at the same time because physical therapy would be more difficult if one knee was still deformed. I was glad to accept his recommendation to do both at once.”

That was three months ago, and Vickie couldn’t be more pleased with the results and with her experience using robotics-assisted knee replacement.

Through an advanced computer program, the NAVIO™ system utilized at St. Joseph Medical Center provides robotic assistance that relays precise information about a patient’s knee to a robotics-assisted handpiece used by surgeons during the procedure. By collecting patient-specific data, boundaries are established for the handpiece, providing greater accuracy in removing damaged surfaces of the knee, balancing the joint, and positioning the implant with greater accuracy.

Dr. Abraham, along with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Michael McCabe, are the specialist team certified in the Navio robotics technology at the hospital.

“We still perform the surgery but with precision accuracy,” says Dr. Abraham. “We’re seeing patients recover more quickly, with less risk, better feel and function and potential increased longevity of the knee replacement. That’s great news on every front.”

Vickie calls her recovery “phenomenal.”

“It definitely exceeded my expectations,” she adds. “After only three months I have minimal pain and have resumed most of my normal activities. I feel great. I enjoy my work, my life and my family.”

Vickie says she received “exceptional care through every step” of her process. “My surgeon and physical therapist are knowledgeable, diligent and encouraging. Each person I encountered at St. Joseph’s—from pre-admission, pre-op appointments, admission, post-op and recovery, nurses and assistants, physical therapist—all demonstrated compassion and competency in helping me.”

Together with her husband of 48 years, Vickie is eager to enjoy their three adult children and seven grandchildren as well as her work as an administrative assistant. Mostly, she looks forward to walking the aisle with no deformity at two of her grandchildren’s’ upcoming weddings.

“I’m delighted that I will be able to walk down the aisle with my new, straight, healthy knees,” she says. “I highly recommend this procedure to others, and I say to anyone who’s hesitant, ‘Don’t wait. Don’t be afraid of the pain. The results are well worth it.’”

Dr. Abraham is hosting a free Navio Knee Replacement webinar allowing you to learn about robotic-assisted knee replacement. To register for a webinar please visit