Free Knee Pain Webinar to learn about how the latest robotics-assisted technology can help
Audra, 49, of Kansas City, Mo. has always been a go-getter. This mother and grandmother works as a full-time server at Long Horn Steakhouse in Independence where she is on her feet 8 hours a day, logging 8 miles a day running around the restaurant. Together with her long-term boyfriend since college, their children, 3-year-old granddaughter and two dogs, life is active, and that’s the way they like it. It’s just so much better being active without excruciating knee pain.
A former athlete who was used to fighting through pain, Audra wasn’t the type to let anything slow her down. Born with toes touching, she wore braces for the first four or five years of her life and was even told she would someday experience subsequent joint issues. No matter — she played softball and volleyball, but at age 18, she tore a meniscus. Then she tore another. Both were repaired but were never quite the same. She kept going. Every job she gravitated towards (pharmacy tech, store manager, restaurant manager) involved being on her feet for hours on end. Over the years, her knees were bearing the brunt of it.
“I’m rough and tumble and old-school, so I just kept going,” Audra admits.
She spent years enduring moderately successful non-surgical options, including genicular nerve ablation in both knees, cortisone injections, and wearing neoprene braces at work to help with the swelling. Soon, her regular customers started noticing her obvious pain and difficulty walking. By the end of a busy night of serving customers, she was in tears and could hardly bend her knees, which were now bone-on-bone. By the time she drove home, getting out of the car was nearly impossible.
One day a customer came into the restaurant and told her about his knee surgeries, and the remarkable difference it made to use the Navio robotic-assisted surgery on one of his knees, including less pain, a quicker recovery and a fuller range of motion.
After doing her due diligence and fully researching the topic, Audra finally accepted what her current knee doctor had long recommended — it was time to meet with Dr. Scott Abraham at St. Joseph Medical Center.
Audra met with Dr. Abraham in February of this year, and says she liked him immediately. On March 3, 2021, Audra had her left knee – the most painful of the two – finally replaced.
“Everything went so well,” she says. “The staff was outstanding, including check-in, and all my nurses were fantastic. Dr. Abraham even respected the tattoo on my leg and made an incision that didn’t interfere with the design. In fact, my scar has healed perfectly!”
Audra was able to do her physical therapy at Belton Regional nearer her home, and she says her recovery was much faster than expected. Her physical therapist credits much of that to the best practices used by Dr. Abraham.
“Dr. Abraham’s patients are up and around weeks earlier than expected,” she says. “He uses some procedures that help you regain muscle use faster, with less pain and more range of motion. I didn’t even have to take all of my pain meds and definitely didn’t need to refill them. I was good!”
Now at 11 weeks after her first knee replacement, Audra says that her quality of life is so much better, and she can only imagine what her future holds after she gets the second knee replaced.
“It’s been so much better than I expected,” she adds. “I knew it would relieve pain and help with mobility, but it has been day and night. I used to be miserable all the time. I was eating ibuprofen and Tylenol like they were PEZ. I avoided stairs and walking, and I couldn’t even play on the floor with my granddaughter. But now, well, we just got back from a family vacation to Nashville where we went through the national zoo which was huge. The kids kept asking me if I needed to quit to rest, and I kept saying I’m fine, I’m fine, and I was!”
Today, Audra has no regrets except that she wishes she had gotten the surgery done five years ago.
“I recommend Dr. Abraham and the Navio system and the hospital to everyone,” she says. “In fact, I just talked to a woman at the nail salon who was complaining about her knee pain. I told her about my experience, how it’s just been incredible, and it’s one of the best things I’ve done for my quality of life in a very long time.”
Meet Dr. Scott Abraham
Scott M. Abraham, MD, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in robotic knee-replacement at St. Joseph Medical Center in Kansas City. As an industry leader in the region, Dr. Abraham performs hundreds of these surgeries annually, utilizing the Navio ™ robotic-assisted technology in partial or total knee replacements.
“Think of it as a 3-D mapping system of a patient’s individual knee,” says Dr. Abraham. “The sophisticated software allows us to place the components more precisely and accurately to achieve a better fit for each patient. These less invasive techniques mean less trauma on the knee joint, resulting in better outcomes as we mobilize patients sooner with faster recovery times.”
Any candidate for traditional knee replacement is also a candidate for robotic-assisted, according to Dr. Abraham. “We see people often become more active than before they experienced knee problems — even participating in sports you would not expect such as tennis and snow-skiing.”
If you are suffering from knee pain due to worn cartilage from age, arthritis or injury, and when conservative measures have failed such as cortisone or joint-lubricating injections or anti-inflammatories, and the knee pain is interfering with daily activities, please call (913) 642-0200 for an individual consultation.
Dr. Abraham will speak at an upcoming, free knee pain webinar on the latest robotics-assisted technology on Friday, June 11, from Noon to 1:15 p.m. Sign up here: