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St. Mary’s Hospital Offers New Advanced Surgical System for Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Feb 28, 2017

Tucson, AZ – February 28, 2017-

Surgeons at Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital are using a new advanced robotic surgical system to perform precise and accurate total knee replacement surgeries. Previously, robotic surgical systems have been used only for total hip and partial knee replacements.

Michael Amini, MD, performed the first total knee replacement surgery using the new robotic surgical system at Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital on Feb. 27. The patient, Dolores Arrelin, is a 55-year-old Amado resident who has struggled with knee pain for many years. After seeking medical attention and avoiding surgery, she decided that being in pain was too much and she wanted to enjoy life again. “It was awesome to learn that I was going to be the first patient to receive this surgery with the orthotic robotic assisted technology,” says Delores. “I look forward to being able to walk again!”

“The introduction of robotic assistance brings another level of confidence in the success of total knee replacement,” said Dr. Amini. “I was delighted to see how seamlessly the new robotic surgical system integrated into our workflow. I see great potential for increased patient satisfaction.”

Unlike other robotic-assisted platforms, the new surgical system at Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital does not require a pre-operative CT scan, thereby reducing patients’ exposure to radiation.  Instead, the surgeon collects patient-specific data during the procedure to build a 3D model of the patient’s knee to plan the surgery. To perform the procedure, a handheld robotics-assisted tool is used to position specific cut guides exactly as intended, based on the patient-specific data. This extra layer of precision and accuracy is designed to enable optimal implant placement for better patient outcomes.

Total knee replacement using a robotic surgical system is a great example of the type of investment Carondelet St. Mary’s is making to help achieve our goal of offering the best care possible to the community we serve,” explained Amy Beiter, MD, CEO of Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital. “The robotic surgical system is an innovative option for patients needing knee replacement and one of the pioneering options we are proud to offer our patients.”

People who experience pain, stiffness or swelling in their knee often struggle with walking, going up stairs, jogging and other activities. Some experience these problems for years, and are treated with medication and exercise - until the pain becomes so great and their mobility so impaired that they seek orthopedic surgery. In most cases, this pain has been caused by arthritis.

Osteoarthritis of the knees - in which the cartilage that cushions the bones wears away - can be genetic and is sometimes associated with obesity. But arthritis in the knees has also been associated with certain types of injuries and work that the person may have done when they were younger – such as the kind of heavy lifting and loading performed by farmers or miners.

Additional information about the robotic assisted surgical system for total knee replacement surgery at St. Mary’s Hospital is available online at or by calling (520) 872-4770.


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