St. Mary Medical Center Is First Hospital in NW Indiana to Offer Robot-assisted Knee-replacement Surgery

chs-stock St. Mary Medical Center of Hobart has become the first hospital in Northwest Indiana to offer robot-assisted, partial and total knee replacements using the Mako Robotic Arm-Assisted Surgery System. This latest advancement in knee replacement surgery benefits patients by providing a personalized surgical experience that can help shorten recovery time and reduce pain following the procedure.

“Mako transforms the way partial and total knee replacements are performed,” said Orthopedic Surgeon Michael Knesek, MD, who recently performed the first Mako procedure at St. Mary Medical Center. “Our surgical team has information and precision at our fingertips in real-time during a procedure that we did not have access to before.”

The Mako System furnishes surgeons with a 3D model that allows them to create each patient’s surgical plan, based on their specific anatomy, before entering the operating room. During the procedure, the surgeon can validate that plan and make any necessary adjustments while guiding the robotic arm to perform the surgery as planned.

“It’s exciting to be able to offer this transformative technology to our knee-replacement patients,” Knesek said. “The robotic arm is not performing the surgery, but it is assisting the surgeon in performing the procedure in the most precise and efficient manner. This helps to create a better post-operative experience for the patient.”

Knee-replacement patients at St. Mary Medical Center participate in The Joint Academy, Northwest Indiana’s first hospital to have earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ for both knee and hip replacement. The Academy was established to complement patients’ surgical procedures with a streamlined process of education, preparation, therapy and follow-up.

In 2018, The Joint Academy of St. Mary Medical Center is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

“Orthopedic surgeons affiliated with The Joint Academy have performed thousands of joint replacement procedures at St. Mary Medical Center,” CEO Janice Ryba said. “With the introduction of the Mako System for partial and total knee replacements, our hospital continues to provide the most advanced technology to support our skilled surgeons. The goal of our care team is to continuously improve the care experience and outcomes for our patients.”

St. Mary Medical Center is also a regional leader in surgical robotics. It has been accredited by Surgical Review Corporation as a Center of Excellence in Robotic Surgery, the first hospital in Northwest Indiana to earn that distinction.

On Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 6 p.m., Dr. Knesek will give a public presentation on the Mako Robotic Arm-Assisted Surgery System in the Community Room of the Valparaiso Health Center, 3800 St. Mary Drive. This program is free. Registration is required. Call 219-836-3477 or toll-free 866-836-3477 to register.

For more information about The Joint Academy, visit

St. Mary Medical Center is one of three hospitals of Community Healthcare System, which also includes St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago and Community Hospital in Munster. For a free physician referral, call 219-836-3477 or toll free 866-836-3477.