Here are a few testimonials and videos from our services at OrthoSouth.
“It’s the only way to go.”
Eric Mingledorff described his experience with Mako robot-assisted knee replacement while sitting in a hangar at the Hardeman airport. A pilot from the age of 15, these days he enjoys retirement while working on his own aerobatic airplane. Being a pilot is a very physical job, one which requires a great deal of bending, kneeling, and moving in tight quarters. In order to keep up with the physical demands of piloting, Eric needs his joints to move smoothly, and with relatively little to no pain. He took a break from his mechanical work to discuss the pros and cons (spoiler alert, he listed no cons) to having his knee replacement performed using the assistance of the Mako robotic arm.
Eric has the benefit of comparison – he had his first knee replacement in 2015 under the traditional, non-assisted standard operation. He says recovery took a while, with 25-26 physical therapy sessions post-surgery. Even then, he explains that he was unable to kneel on his new knee without pain for several years.
A Completely Different Experience
The Mako-assisted knee replacement for his second knee, performed in February 2019, however, offered a completely different post-surgery experience. Eric says he used a walker for one day after surgery before moving to a cane for three or four days, and after that was able to walk unassisted. He spent a fraction of time in physical therapy after this surgery – nine sessions versus the prior 25-26 sessions – and says he improved so quickly he could have comfortably stopped after the fifth physical therapy visit. Within a few short months after surgery, he could kneel gently on his new knee with no pain.
Eric attributes the improved experience to the Mako procedure’s utilization of a pre-operational CT scan to help the surgeon precisely craft the knee appliance specific to his own anatomy for a perfect fit.
Eric says his experience with the Mako-assisted knee replacement is “300% better” than his experience with the standard surgery. He credits his decision to have the Mako surgery to a friend who had undergone his own knee replacement. When Eric began to consider his second knee replacement, his friend urged him to find a Mako surgeon. When a second friend separately advised the same, Eric knew he had to do some research.
He discovered OrthoSouth surgeon Dr. Jean Simard via a Google search. Eric read several 5-star reviews about Dr. Simard and learned of his use of the Mako robotic arm at Saint Francis Hospital for knee and hip replacement surgeries. He didn’t hesitate to make an appointment and get his surgery on the books.
Eric describes Dr. Simard as “a wonderful doctor” and says “the service was great!”
Today, he’s back to doing what he loves, much sooner than he believes he would have been without Dr. Simard and the Mako-assisted surgery.
About Dr. Jean Simard and the Saint Francis Mako Robot Arm
The Mako robot at Saint Francis is the only one of its kind in the Greater Memphis Area, and Dr. Simard is one of a handful of Mid-South surgeons who uses it. He performed the first Mako total knee replacement in Memphis in April 2018.
“Mako robotic-arm assisted knee and hip replacement surgery is a more precise and reproducible technique than the standard surgery, “ Dr. Simard stated. “Patients have less pain post-op and recover faster.”
Dr. Simard uses the Mako system for both knee and hip replacements. “About every patient who is a candidate for hip or knee replacement is a candidate for Mako technology,” he says.
Dr. Simard is a dual board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeon specializing in hip and knee replacement, shoulder and arthroscopic surgery. He utilizes the latest technologies including Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery for partial knee, total knee and hip replacement surgery. Dr. Simard received his medical degree from Laval University School of Medicine in Quebec, Canada. After completing his orthopedic residency, he went to the Mayo Clinic as a visiting physician doing rotations in hip, knee and shoulder reconstructions and then did a trauma fellowship at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Simard also served on staff at a teaching hospital as a clinical instructor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. He was involved in many research projects and has given numerous presentations at different orthopaedic conferences.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Simard to find out if the Mako-assisted knee or hip replacement is right for you, call us at 901.641.3000 or book your appointment online here.
Ladelle Lequerica has been a loyal patient of Dr. Riley Jones for years. She underwent shoulder surgery with Dr. Jones after sustaining a tennis injury when she was younger and then again in 2015 after a horse-riding accident. After many years with him as her trusted orthopaedic surgeon, she knew that she needed to see Dr. Jones about her worsening knee pain. Upon exam he determined she would benefit from a total knee replacement and referred her to his partner Dr. Jean Simard. Dr. Jones knew that Mrs. Lequerica would want the fastest recovery possible, and that was something Dr. Simard could provide with the MAKO Total Knee surgery.
Mrs. Lequerica met with Dr. Simard who confirmed that she needed a total knee replacement and suggested the MAKO Total Knee. Mrs. Lequerica appreciated Dr. Simard’s “no nonsense, honest and forthright” bedside manner.
According to Stryker, “the MAKO robotic arm decreases soft tissue damage and enhances stability during the surgery.” This decrease in tissue damage, compared with traditional knee replacement surgery, often leads to happier patients.
For Mrs. Lequerica’s part, she was walking without her walker within five days of surgery and was walking without her cane within two weeks. Physical therapy and use of a continuous passive motion (CPM) machine further helped shorten her recovery time in comparison to other total knee patients.
Since her release from care, Mrs. Lequerica has had no issues. “I recommend Dr. Simard to anyone needing a knee replacement and I will come back to him when it comes time to do the other knee.” However, she still has a strong loyalty to Dr. Jones and continues to recommend both physicians to anyone needing an orthopedist.
Daniel Jones has an ankle in his shoulder. His surgeon Dr. Christopher Pokabla calls it “Arthoscopic Distal Tibial Allograft Augmentation for Posterior Shoulder Instability with Glenoid Bone Loss.”
Daniel just calls it relief.
Daniel’s shoulder issues began when he was a football player in high school. He was bench pressing one day when he felt immense pain in his right shoulder. He found out had torn his labrum and would require surgical intervention. While that initial injury kept Daniel off the field for the rest of his senior year, he was still able to retain a college football scholarship and play on his college team.
But in 2018, while running drills at practice, an awkward tackle left Daniel with another dislocated shoulder. He knew immediately that the previous repair had been damaged.
“I had numbness, tingling, sharp pain, limited range of motion, and weakness in my arm,” he said. “There were days that I could hardly get dressed because of the pain. Moving and lifting was excruciating.”
Daniel knew that he needed to be seen again. He made an appointment, and was referred to Dr. Christopher Pokabla at OrthoSouth (then Memphis Orthopaedic Group).
Dr. Pokabla took x-ray images and reviewed the results with Daniel. At the same appointment, Dr. Pokabla ordered a shoulder CT for additional images of his bones and an MRI for his neck to rule out neck injury. Once the testing was completed, Dr. Pokabla explained to Daniel that he would require another surgery. The recurrent shoulder dislocations he experienced had left him with bone loss in the shoulder joint, making a traditional repair difficult and potentially less successful.
Dr. Pokabla then suggested a non-traditional surgical solution. His research had led him to a paper in a medical journal detailing how another surgeon had successfully used a cadaver ankle bone to correct bone loss in the shoulder of a patient. Dr. Pokabla thoroughly researched this technique and was confident that it was the best solution to Daniel’s injury. Presented with this new option, Daniel says he “put all trust in Dr. Pokabla and his abilities as a surgeon.”
Since the second surgery, Daniel has been able to resume all daily activities, including lifting weights. He says he is completely satisfied with the results of his surgery.
“I wasn’t expecting to be able to do as much as I am able to do,” said Daniel. “He did an amazing job and I recommend him to anyone experiencing shoulder pain. I even referred my grandfather to him after my surgery.”
Dr. Pokabla, for his part, is thrilled at Daniel’s return to normalcy. “Daniel was an excellent candidate for this procedure,” he says. “I am always honored that my patients put their trust in me for their care, and Daniel went even further. He was the first patient in the state to have this surgery, and it could not have gone better.”
For more information about Dr. Pokabla or to make an appointment, click here.