Section: News

First Robotic Total Knee Replacement in Northeast Florida

First Robotic Total Knee Replacement in Northeast Florida

A team at Flagler Hospital in St. Augustine led by Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Tod Northrup of Florida Sports Medicine Institute, performed the area's first computer-navigated robotic total knee replacement. This technology offers a new surgical option for patients who require total knee replacement due to chronic knee pain as a result of osteoarthritis. This procedure allows for increased accuracy of implant placement, helps implants last longer and can reduce the patient's recovery time.

The key to the procedure is the system's ability to precisely replicate the surfaces of each individual patient's damaged knee joint within the computer software. This eliminates the need for preoperative CT or MRI scans. The surgeon is able to plan the size, position and orientation of the implant before making any bone cuts. Once the planning is complete, the robotic cutting guide is attached to the patient's knee and used to guide the surgeon as he makes the bone cuts necessary to attach the knee replacement implant.

"This is the most dramatic development in joint surgery in the past 30 years," commented Dr. Northrup, "for patients in constant pain who are no longer able to function well, this procedure is a game changer."

The Apex Robotic Technology Praxim robotic cutting guide is the only system of its kind currently available to perform total knee replacements. In addition, it does not require expensive preoperative CT scans or MRI like other robotic systems for partial knee replacement.

"Flagler Hospital is committed to bringing advanced technology options to our community, as part of our ongoing effort to improve clinical outcomes and enhance quality of life for our patients," added Flagler Hospital CEO, Joe Gordy. "Our nationally accredited joint replacement program offers patients a team of world class surgeons, orthopedic certified nurses, specially trained rehabilitation therapists, and customized education programs to ensure the fastest and best possible recovery for our orthopedic patients. And we are pleased to add this technology to the mix."

About Flagler Hospital

Flagler Hospital is a 335 bed, acute care hospital that has been ranked among the top 5% of all hospitals in the nation for both clinical excellence and patient safety for the past seven consecutive years. The hospital has operated as a not-for-profit healthcare institution in St. Augustine, Florida since its founding in 1889. The hospital has earned accreditation from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, the Gold Seal of Approval™ from The Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Care Centers, national accreditation for its total hip and total knee replacement programs, and Center of Excellence Designation for its Bariatric Surgery Center. For more information, log on to

Frequently Asked Questions…

What benefit does computer-assisted surgery provide to me?

Computers have improved how we perform complex tasks in our daily lives, and this includes joint replacement surgery. Surgical navigation uses specialized tools along with a computer to achieve more consistent results with greater accuracy. For people undergoing total knee replacement surgery, this means a better chance of an improved alignment of the knee implant which can extend the life of the implant as well as improve its functionality.

Does the APEX Robotic Technology™ do the surgery itself?

No. Because each individual is unique in their anatomy, the surgeon will still make every decision during the operation and this includes making all of the necessary bone and soft tissue cuts on his or her own. APEX Robotic Technology™ will help maximize the surgeon's ability to provide the best possible outcome.

Am I a good candidate for total knee replacement using APEX Robotic Technology™?

Almost all candidates for total knee replacement are able to benefit from APEX Robotic Technology™ used with PRAXIM™ navigation. Patients undergoing total knee replacement usually share the fact that their quality of life has diminished due to lifestyle changes caused by osteoarthritis in the knee. ART™ can improve your chances of a better outcome and restore your quality of life.