Advanced technology eliminating knee pain to get patients get back on their feet | Ascension

Advanced technology eliminating knee pain to get patients get back on their feet


As you age, chances are good that your knees will cause you problems. In fact, knee injuries and ailments are a leading cause of disability in older adults.

Because the knees are important in performing many types of exercise and everyday living skills, knee problems can start a healthy adult on a downward path of reduced mobility, inactivity and weight gain.

One common knee problem is osteoarthritis, which occurs when cartilage in the knee deteriorates. Without this soft, protective cushioning, the bones can rub against each other, resulting in pain, stiffness and swelling. The risk of developing the condition increases as you age, and around a third of people over 60 have knee osteoarthritis,

Getting back on your feet

In many cases, knee problems can be effectively treated with options such as medicine, physical therapy, injections, braces or walking supports. When damage is severe or symptoms impact quality of life, however, your doctor may recommend knee replacement surgery.

Ascension Sacred Heart provides a specialized Joint Replacement Center and it is the first hospital in Pensacola to offer the Stryker Mako robotic system for knee and hip replacement. This advanced approach to hip and knee replacements offers a higher level of accuracy and a more personalized surgical experience, often leading to less pain and a quicker recovery.

"We've been using robotic technology for about a year and a half and it is a dramatic improvement in what we can do with hip and knee replacement," said Dr. Jean Dabezies, orthopedic joint replacement surgeon with Ascension Sacred Heart in Pensacola. "It is more precise. We've been able to provide better outcomes for patient activities and get many people out of the hospital faster."

Ascension Sacred Heart has a team of fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons with expertise using the Mako robot, including Drs. Dabezies, Kurt Morrison and Scott Stewart.

During robotic total knee replacement, surgeons use computed tomography (CT) scans to build a virtual model of the patient's knee.

"Using a virtual 3D model, the Mako technology allows surgeons to create each patient’s surgical plan and implant placement before entering the operating room," said Dr. Morrison. "During surgery, we can make any necessary adjustments while guiding the robotic-arm to execute the plan. This level of surgical planning had not been available previously.”

Knee replacement and hip replacement are designed to relieve pain caused by joint degeneration. During surgery, the arthritic portion of the knee is removed and covered with a combination of plastic and metal parts that form the new surfaces of the knee joint.

It's important to talk with your orthopedic surgeon about the options available to you, as well as the potential benefits and risks of surgery. For more information, visit ascension.org/sacredheartortho or call the Ascension Sacred Heart specialists at 850-494-9000.